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I am back in the USA and ready to get the 5th grade CCD class rolling. I understand Father John led the class for the two weeks I was gone.

After our opening prayer, we began with chapter one of the text. I pointed out to the students that each chapter is built around four distinct “We believe” statements that are highlighted in purple in the book. This divides the week’s lesson into four, more or less, equal segments. For chapter one, the four statements were:

  • Jesus is the Son of God
  • Jesus shows us God’s love
  • Jesus invites people to follow him
  • Jesus’ disciples continue his work

We had volunteers read the passages under the first statement. They covered Jesus’ baptism and the Holy Trinity. We spent some time talking about the Trinity and the idea that God can be one God and three persons. We used St Patrick’s famous shamrock example. We also compared the three persons to the different roles all of us have in our life. For example, the students are, depending on the situation of the moment, sons and daughters, students, athletes, friends, brothers and sister, etc., but they are still just one person.

We had the students read the material associated with the second statement silently and discussed some of the ways Jesus showed his love.

We tried something different for the last two statements. We split the class of 14 students into groups of 2 and 3 and assigned each group a paragraph or two to read and understand. Then we had each of the teams teach the message in that passage to the rest of the class. The students did better than I thought they would for the first time we tried it. The material dealt with Jesus’ disciples, past and present; the Apostles; the Kingdom of God and the parable of the mustard tree.

That technique seemed to have some promise, but it is time consuming. We ran out of time before we had a chance for review and reinforcement. We’ll tackle some of that next week before moving on to the next chapter.

Parents – thank you for sharing your children with us. Please feel free to sit in on any class and see what we’re doing.

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