This summer we are wrapping up our school-year Sunday School curriculum A Joyful Path Year 2, from Progressive Christianity’s Inner Wisdom Series, Spiritual Curriculum for Young Hearts and Minds. Our final topic is Life-long Learning and Selfless Love. By calling ourselves progressive Christians, we mean we are Christians who commit to a path of lifelong learning, compassion, and selfless love. Our affirmation for these the lessons is: “I will always look for ways to learn and be loving to others.” Here’s a breakdown of the topics:
- Learning/Exploration/Discovery. Everything in this world, no matter how rewarding, eventually ends. Sincerely following the wisdom teaching of Jesus leads to ever increasing joy and freedom. For those willing to cast away fear and live lives of faith, courage and selfless love, there is endless discovery and opportunity for growth.
- Open to Change. Attachments to outward conditions limits our ability to grow and change. But Jesus gave the guideline to worship in spirit and in truth, which points us to an inner place of understanding, away from outer definitions. From the inner place of understanding, changes we experience outwardly can be seen and experienced in a different way. We can be like a down- hill skier who responds gracefully to every bump along the course because s/he holds onto their own center of stability and can experience the entire run with confidence.
- Creativity. The essence of creativity is being present in the moment and responding to life with complete openness to what is needed at that moment. Developing our creativity is not a process with an end point , or peak of accomplishments; it is what happens when we let go of our egoic agenda and enjoy the infinite possibilities life offers.
- Selfless Love. The path that Jesus walked requires continual effort. We are called to seek out and act on every opportunity to share love if we wish to follow the path of spiritual growth that Jesus held out to us. This lesson presents the idea of cultivating the habit of selfless love in everything we do.
Next we dip into a curriculum developed Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, which we are tailoring to our region of the world. God’s Water Heroes, Splash Into Living Waters, offers interactive games, activities, and learning for elementary through middle school students. The modules are: 1) Water at the Beginning of Creation; 2) Water is Life; 3) Trees for Life; 4) Loving Our Neighbor: Caring for Water; 5) God’s “still small voice” in nature (1 Kings 19:11-13) and BONUS: 6) Streams in the Wasteland (Trash Reduction).
Questions about the curriculums? Speak with Joti Chandra Kaur.
“It takes a village to raise a child.” – African Proverb
We believe it is the shared responsibility of our faith community to nurture young and old in such a way that they grow to be mature persons of faith. Our Sunday School teaching team strives to mentor learners so that they understand the Christian tradition with its roots in Scripture; discover real-life Christian ethics; and set out on their own unique faith journeys as God-loving, Spirit-led disciples of Christ.
Says Pastor Dee: “We are old-fashioned enough to think that it is a very good thing if every child knows that she or he is as good as anybody else, and also knows that she or he is not particularly better than anybody else in God’s eyes—[we’re all] equally beloved. We think it’s a good thing for children to learn that their value is not based on what [theologian] Marcus Borg calls the three A’s of indoctrination in our popular culture: Appearance, Achievement, and Affluence. We think it’s a good thing for children to learn about God’s dreams of justice for all, and a world where everyone has adequate food, shelter, opportunity, and love. We think it’s a good thing for them to learn that the notion that violence solves problems is the oldest lie in the world still being told. We think it’s a good thing for children to learn that there is a God, and that they are not it. We think it’s a good thing for people of every age to be part of something bigger than themselves, a story of salvation and redemption that began before we were born and will continue after we die. We think it’s a good thing to learn that we are caretakers of this earth and everything on it, not owners. This is the radical treasure we want so urgently to pass on the generations coming behind us.”
It is our aspiration to welcome and love all Sunday School participants as God welcomes and loves us.