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This will be a short entry, as there isn’t much to say that I haven’t already said. Last night, we had our second rehearsal for the Dec. 18 Christmas Pageant. We have ten students who are narrators and four who are shepherds, angels or biblical royalty.

No class next week for Thanksgiving.

The parish Advent Penance Service will be held on Dec. 4 at 6:30 pm. (That is the correct time.) Please, come with your child(ren). If you want to sit with us, Mrs. Hanzel and I will be up near the choir. Last night, we did spend a few minutes going over the procedure for a confession. I distributed some “cheat sheets” with the step-by-step process and the Act of Contrition. I collected them back,however, and will bring them on Dec 4.

Dress rehearsal will be Dec. 11. Drop off and pick up at the church.

Christmas Pageant on Dec. 18. Please have your child at the church by 6:15 at the absolute latest. Students coming in late and sliding in under the tag just causes chaos for all of us, including the other students.

Mrs. Hanzel and I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and we’ll see you in two weeks.

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We started rehearsals for the CCD Christmas Pageant last night. Before we did that, however, Mrs. Hanzel had a short quiz on the material about the sacraments we have been discussing for the past several weeks. We were a little disappointed about the poor retention. We were somewhat surprised at how many of the students could not name either one of the two priests at our church. (“I don’t know who they are because I don’t ever go to church.” What? Seriously!)

As in year past, we are providing the narrators for the presentation while the third grade provides the “actors.” We have nine or ten speaking parts depending on how we divide it up. Last night we had eight volunteers to read and two who preferred to abstain. There were four students absent last night. I suspect we will pick up one or two readers from that group next week.

The class did very well. We have a few who need to speak up, but generally they did well. And they were so well behaved that Mary Zimmer, the music director who was preparing for choir practice, came over to compliment them.

So here is what our schedule looks like for the next few weeks.

11/20 – Drop off and pick up at the church.

11/27 – No Class

12/4 – Parish Penance Service. Attend with family.

12/11 – Dress rehearsal. Drop off and pick up at the church.

12/18 – Christmas Pageant. Please have your student at the church no later than 6:15 pm.

12/25 and 1/1 –No class

1/8/2020 – Back to work.

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We began practice for the December 13 Christmas pageant. It went well. We are providing the narrators to complement the “actors” from the third grade class. All our readers did a good job. A few of our students do not want to read, so they are either helping or in the cast.

If your child is one of our readers, they should have brought their script home. Please take a few minutes and help them practice their lines. All the readings are very short, although some students have more than one assignment. The more familiar they are with their lines, the more comfortable they will be and the better job they will do.

Next week, please drop your child off at the church and pick them up there also. There is no need to meet them in the classroom and then drag them across the parking lot and back. The same will apply to the performance on December 13.

In past years when we have done this, we also had a dress rehearsal the Saturday morning before the performance. That would be December 9 this year. This is Mrs. Hogan’s show, and she hasn’t confirmed that rehearsal, but you may want to mark that event on your calendar. We will know for sure shortly.

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Last night’s class almost left the rails, but it turned out pretty well anyway.

We finished up the lesson on the Sacrament of Baptism. Most of the students returned their “homework,” where we asked them to ask their parents about the church where they were baptized, the priest and their godparents.

Father Kavanaugh stuck his head in for a few minutes and talked about Baptism.

We had the class read aloud one page of the text and had them answer a few questions. We then spent a few minutes talking about an emergency Baptism, in which anyone can perform the rite. (Typically this is most common when a person, like a newborn, is near death and there isn’t time for a priest to get to the scene.)

We then divided the class into two groups and assigned them to read and study the last two pages of the chapter, which describes the actual prayers and actions of a normal Baptism. And then they played it out. We provided a little water, oil, a candle and a white garment (t-shirt.) They really got into it, maybe a little too much.

We think they learned something. At least, when we did our end-of-class “what did you learn tonight” activity, they all were able to recite something quickly and without duplication.

I think I had the chance to speak to all the parents last night, but just to be safe, here are the plans for the Christmas pageant. Our class will provide the narrators. Two students do not want to read, so they will be assigned to play one of the characters. We will rehearse November 29 and Dec 6. The pageant will be held during the regular CCD class period on December 13. We may have a final “dress rehearsal” on Saturday morning, December 9. We’ll let you know. If your child is nervous about this, please assure him or her that Mrs. Rudolphi and I will get them “coached up” ahead of time and will be there to support them on the evening of the performance. We have done this for a number of years, and we haven’t lost anyone yet. Feel free to give me a call or send me an email if you have any questions.

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We had a very short class last night, because only one of our eight students made it. It must have been a busy night on the middle school activity circuit. Since our lesson plan revolved around some group activities, we just saved the lesson plan for January.

Our last class before the Christmas break (We’re a church, so we don’t have to say “holiday break.”) will be next Wednesday, December 14. We will meet in the church for the Christmas Pageant. Bring the family!

One “heads up,” I strongly suspect the Christmas Pageant will not take the entire 60 minute class period. If you cannot stay for the pageant, you should be prepared to return before 730 to pick up your child.

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas! We hope to see everyone on January 4.

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I would like to bring you up to speed on a couple of things. This post duplicates an email you should have received or will receive shortly.

First – No class next week, November 25, the night before Thanksgiving. That should be obvious, but just making sure everyone knows.

Second – The fifth grade class will be working with the third grade class (Mrs. Lynne Hogan) on the Christmas Pageant. The third grade provides the family, the sheep, the shepherds, etc. Our fifth graders will provide the readers. I would like to know by the next class (December 2) which of our students would like to be a reader. This is not mandatory. Any of the students who do not wish to read will be assigned to the “cast” as shepherds, or what-not.

The reading passages are both easy and fairly short, usually only 3-4 sentences. There are enough passages in the script that there is room for everyone in the class to have a role. If some students do not wish to read, I can consolidate or double-up the passages.

I will provide the students with their assigned passage during the next class. They would have plenty of time to prep it. I mention this because even students who are not strong readers can still participate and shine. We had one student several years ago who really wanted to be a part of the pageant, but was not a strong reader. She took her passage home and worked on it over and over until she had it memorized.  She did great and her family, and Mrs. Rudolphi and I were enormously happy for her.

This year, the pageant will be presented only once, in the church, during the regular CCD class time on December 16. Since we are not able to present at the Christmas Eve Children’s Mass, we are going to try to make the December 16 program a “parish event.”

We will rehearse during the regular CCD class time on December 2 & 9. We will have a final dress rehearsal on Saturday morning, December 12. I don’t have a time for that yet; it will probably be something like 9:30-11:00 am. I will let you know the exact time frame when I get it.

Several of our students have special circumstances. I don’t know of anything that would prevent them from participating if they wish.  Mrs. Rudolphi and I are pretty good “coaches” and will work with all the children to put them into a position where they can succeed.

Bottom line – Please talk with your child; see if they would like a “speaking role”; and let me know via email or phone by the next class.

Thank you in advance for your help.

savannahmike1130@gmail.com

(912) 598-2325 – office/day

(912) 484-2622 – cell/evenings-weekends

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Sorry for the late posting. This past week has just been busy.

We had a pretty good class last week. We covered the last seven Commandments. We had a lively and interesting discussion. How can you not have fun when the subjects include lying, cheating, stealing and killing?

We spent a fair amount of time discussing the fourth “Honor your father and mother” Commandment. We discussed the importance of that Commandment when parents become older and may become dependent upon their children.

As always, the concept of coveting was a new one for the students. They seemed to catch on to it however.

“Bearing false witness” was a little obscure until we talked about it for a while. We asked and discussed whether gossip would be covered by that Commandment.

The concept of adultery is always one we try to handle with some delicacy. We used it to confirm the sanctity of marriage. We also pointed out that there are two Commandments that address the sin. The sixth prohibits it on the part of one of the partners in the marriage. The ninth prohibits a third party outside the marriage from getting between the couple.

I left them with a homework assignment. I asked them to imagine that Moses came back down Mt. Sinai with a second set of commandments specifically targeted towards fifth graders. I asked them to think of what some of those commandments might be. This week, we will break the class into small groups and ask them to create their own stone tablets (poster boards and markers) with the fifth grade Commandments. We will also discuss the upcoming season of Lent.

As expected we have a schedule change, and I think it will be for the better. We will have a Penance Service specifically for the 3-8 grade CCD students and their families on Wednesday, March 25.

Also, for our last class on April 29, we will have a real, live Baptism. One of our parish families has agreed to have their child baptized on a Wednesday night with the entire CCD group in attendance. (The baby is the same child who played the Baby Jesus at the Christmas Pageant. She will be back for an encore performance.) We did this several years ago, and it turned out great. Monsignor Costigan talked his way through the ceremony and explained each step and its meaning. This is a “must see” event.

So here is the schedule for the remainder of the year.

Feb 11 – Finish Commandments and Ch 20 Lent
Feb 18 – No Class –Ash Wednesday
Feb 25 – No Class — Book of Kells Program
March 4 – Ch 15 Healing
March 11 –Ch 16 Reconciliation
March 18 – No class
March 25 – Penance Service in the church
April 1 — Ch 18 Anointing of the Sick
April 8 – No Class
April 15 — Ch 24 Matrimony
April 22 – Holy orders
April 29 – Baptism Ceremony in the church

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