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Archive for January, 2015

I thought we had a good class on Wednesday, but maybe not the “home run” we are always striving for.

The topic of discussion was the Ten Commandments. We began by distributing a sheet with the Commandments listed, and a photocopy of one of the chapters in Exodus where they are presented. We gave the class some of the background surrounding the story of the Israelites escape from Egypt, Moses, Mount Sinai and the stone tablets. Then we had six students read the biblical passage.

During this exercise and a subsequent discussion about taking the Lord’s name in vain, some of the children were very cute. The student assigned to read the passage with the tenth commandment stopped short. The passage contained the word “ass,” referring to an animal. He looked at me and said, “I’m not allowed to say that word.” I told him in that a context, the word referred to a donkey and it was OK to say it. As expected, it produced a round of giggles from the rest of the students. Likewise, during our discussion of using the Lord’s name, I had to grant them a “special exemption” so we could use examples and have a discussion.

We then discussed the first three commandments. We discussed what “false Gods” meant in the context of the Exodus story. However, we also brought the concept forward to the 21st century. We broke the class into three groups and asked them to brainstorm a list of false Gods in modern times — for both adults and children. We defined modern false gods as anything in life that can become more important than God, or can get between a person and God. As an example and to start the process, I suggested that for many people, money is a false god. The students caught on to the concept very quickly and all three groups produce very interesting and thought provoking lists. If they got nothing else out of the class, I hope that is one concept that will stick with them.

We then progressed into a discussion of misusing God’s name and of keeping the Sabbath. We spent some time discussing why most Christians celebrate the Sabbath on the first day of the week rather than the seventh.

All and all, it was a pretty successful class. Next week, we will tackle the remaining seven Commandments, and have the class develop a set of Commandments for modern-day 5th graders.

What follows below is simply a repetition of the email I sent out earlier this morning. If you have already read it, then this will be redundant.

Mrs. Hubert, Mrs. Rudolphi and I share a concern we think we should bring to your attention.

After class, some of our children have been heading out to meet their rides in the parking lot. This is difficult for us to control. In addition to sorting through the mild chaos of dismissal, frequently the children are being “picked up” by an older sibling. We don’t know if they are going to meet a parent in another classroom or in the parking lot.

We would like to strongly discourage this practice. The school parking lot is not a safe place for unaccompanied children. This is especially true during this time of year, when it is dark, and even more so when there is another activity happening at the school like there was this week.

So we would like to ask you, please, to come into the school building to pick up your child. Please do not ask them to meet you in the parking lot. If you have a situation where that is difficult (sleeping baby, older grandparent driver or whatever), just let us know, or instruct your child to tell us. Mrs. Rudolphi or I will be happy to walk your child (children) to your car. Seriously. We don’t mind.

Thank you very much for your cooperation on this.

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Parents – Please take note of a schedule change in the CCD calendar. We will NOT have class on Wednesday, February 25, because of the Book of Kells event at the church.

We strongly encourage you to mark that date on your calendar and bring your family to the program. Check the event poster below. You also can see additional information and purchase tickets via the parish Web site.

With that adjustment, here is a list of the remaining classes, and my plan of lessons.

Jan 28 – Commandments 1
Feb 4 – Commandments 2
Feb 11 – Ch 20-21 Lent & Triduum
Feb 18 – No Class –Ash Wednesday
Feb 25 – No Class — Book of Kells Program
Feb 25 – Ch 15 Healing
March 4 –Ch 16 Reconciliation
March 11 – Ch 18 Annointing of the Sick
March 18 – No class
April 1 – Ch 24 Matrimony
April 8 – No class
April 15 – 25 Holy orders
April 22 – Unassigned
April 29 – Last Class

The list of lessons may change again. We have an event pending. If it comes through, it will take up one of the classes. To be announced.

Kells

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Our classes resumed last week, but I had to be in Atlanta for work, so I missed it. Mrs. Rudolphi took over the class and began a lesson on Pentecost and Confirmation.

I was back last night, for the first regular class I have taught since before Thanksgiving. We had a real light turn-out, only 8 students of our total class of 19. I had intended to spend most of the class covering the Sacrament of Confirmation. However at around 430 pm Mrs. Hubert sent out an email advising us of a Rosary service in the church at 6:30 pm. Since I strongly suspected most of our students are not extremely familiar with the Rosary, I thought they would benefit from participating for a short while. I covered the basics of what the Rosary is all about while Mrs. R located and distributed some extra Rosary beads. Off we went. We arrived before the Rosary started and stayed for two or three decades. Then we returned to class.

Mrs. R lead a short review of last week’s lesson, and then we talked a little about the role of Confirmation and its relationship to the Pentecost.

Frankly, it wasn’t the best class we have had. A little flat. We will try to do better next week.

By the way, next week we will step outside the current textbook for the first of two classes focused on the Commandments. Based on past years, these are usually fairly interesting lessons. Usually, the students have lots of questions and we have very interesting discussions. I’m looking forward to it. We hope to see your child there.

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