Monday, October 27, 2008


I am the youth girls' Sunday school teacher, a scary experience in its way, because frankly this is a group that comes with expectations and isn't content to just sit and listen and read methodically and answer rhetorical questions and go home.

I am better at lecturing than discussing, and usually come with more notes than I can get through in half an hour.

But I want to learn how to lead a discussion, provided these young ladies don't mind being my guinea pigs. And last Sunday for the first time we had what I would call a genuine discussion. It started with fasting, and morphed into callings and from there into how much people in the church should "speak into" your life.

And that was what was enlightening for me. I guess I never gave this that much thought, but assumed that, being 40-something and a mom, with high-waisted skirts and a pouf in my hair, there wasn't a whole lot that I could say to the girls that they would welcome.

Wrong wrong wrong. It turns out that young people seriously need and want older ones in the church to be aware of them, to notice their choices and goals and struggles, and to offer wisdom and affirmation and encouragement and even correction.

It seems to be a lot easier, said Phebe, for older people to tell younger ones that their skirts are too short rather than that, for example, they don't seem to have a lot of solid goals.

True true. The former takes a few glances on Sunday morning; the latter takes involvement and conversation and time.

So I have been chewing on this new flavor the last few days, wondering how, with mothering and vacuuming and speaking at the Viking Sal to 25 senior citizens and going to Luella Stutzman's viewing and working on my next book and taking Jenny to piano and sorting laundry and making trips to Redmond, I am supposed to get involved with the youth in a way that matters.

Because I really really don't want any of them to fall through the cracks.

Quote of the Day:
"Uh. . .90-degree angle. . . approximately 21 centimeters for that one. . . 20 for that one. . . . Steven, they're actually pretty close!"
--Ben, when Steven thought the pieces of pie weren't fair


  1. This reminds me of an episode of "Joan of Arcadia" (a tv show about a girl that God appears to in many different forms) called "Just Connect".

    You have it absolutely right God is all about relationships. We worry about tomorrow and food and shelter, but everything God wants us to "worry" about has to do with relationships.

  2. I think a good Sunday School teacher asks questions that generate productive thought and discussion as well as being able to guide the discussion so it stays relatively focused without landing somewhere in an unproductive cow pasture.

  3. My friend, you are making a huge impact on the particular "youth" God has called you to relate to most closely. Namely those of the house of Smucker....=)