My Sunday School Class

The children I teach Sunday School to aren't old enough to go to camp yet, but when they are I definately want to be a counselor then because I'm sure whichever weeks they attend will be very, very interesting not to mention amusing. I guess this page isn't directly related to camp, but seeing as how Tony and Michael will someday probably end up camp bums (or at least campers) I think it's only fair to include them somewhere in this site.

Last year I had many students in my Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten class, but unfortunately the majority of them were Kindergarteners who are now in the first and second grade class leaving me with only one regular student. But having one student is a just as much of a challenge as having half a dozen. Tony is a very sweet (but active and vocal) child. He also makes me laugh every week.

Recently Tony told me that God starts with the letter g, because "it makes the gu-gu-gu sound." He can now read some of the words in the story papers we read and has come a long way since he started in the class at age three. He is now asking questions that require me to think. The big questions of the day used to revolve around the pictures that go with the stories such as, "Is Paul the guy with the blond hair wearing the blue coat or the dude with the beard holding the fish?" or, "That guy we just colored---is he the same Adam from the story?"

But now that he's turned the big five? The questions aren't so simple anymore. Take last week for instance. We were just coloring our color-by-number of different Biblical people doing their jobs (which showed that God made everyone different) when he said, "Jesus is God, but God isn't Jesus." He was quoting a religious show he had seen. I thought he was just telling me in case I wasn't aware of that fact, but then he uttered the word I was dreading: "Why?" I tried to explain that God was Jesus's Father kind of like Mark was Tony's dad and reminded him that he looks like his father and has many of the values Mark taught him just because he's his son, but Mark doesn't look like Tony just because he's his dad. Relieved to have answered his question somewhat intelligently (key word: somewhat ), I started to tell him what our craft for that day was. He responded with, "So God and Jesus are kind of like the same person but kind of not? Like on Ren and Stimpy when they got stuck together?"

Michael is Tony's best friend at Sunday School. This year they're in different classes, but last year they were both my pupils. Once we read the story of Cain and Abel. When we finished Michael, who has a somewhat overbearing big sister who often picks on him (as all big sisters do), said, "I don't think that story was right. Someone messed up writing it. Cain must have been an older sister not a brother."

Tony's most classic lines always seem to come during the children's sermons. Last spring we had an interim pastor (who just so happened to be the grandfather of Jacques the Balloon's worst Michigamme enemy; see Funny Camp Stories ). Our minister asked the children something about what kind of pop they like to drink. Out of the blue Tony said right into the microphone, "If you drink alcohol, you'll shrivle up and die." The entire congregation laughed, except for Mark and Melissa (Tony's parents) who covered their faces with their hands. After church I asked him who had told him that fact since I knew his parents weren't big on alcohol. He shrugged and said, "I've always known."

Another children's sermon moment with our second (and current) Pastor Bill came around Christmas time. Pastor Bill asked the kids what their favorite and least favorite parts of Christmas were. Tony raised his hand and said his least favorite part of Christmas is when, "the tree falls on your sister."

Last year one of the activities in the Bible story book was a glossy sheet of paper which when you scribbled on it with a pencil 'magically' a scene appeared. The kids loved it so much that I purchased a whole book of them for Tony this year. Once the page we were scribbling was about the angel telling Mary that she was to be the mother of Jesus. Tony announced that he knew why God made angels. "So in case He dies, there'll be someone to take over." I tried to assure him that God wouldn't die, but he said in a very soft voice, "But He was sick yesterday. The angel told me to pray for him." I asked him if he did pray for God. "No," he replied. "Batman." It took a while but eventually I figured out that he had taught his Batman action figure to pray. "That's really nice that you talked to Batman about God," I said. "But you can tell other people as well." To this Tony said, "I know." I felt like I had done well in my role of Sunday School teacher until he added, "I can tell Joker and the Power Rangers, too."

The last few weeks Tony has asked me if I'm twenty-one and if I drive a motorcycle to school. I seriously do not understand why he does this.

One day in class (we weren't even talking about Jonah) Tony said, "Jonah kissed the whale because he felt sorry for it." I don't know what brought that to mind, but in Tony's mind the whale is Jonah's pet.

This was written in the 1996-97 year.

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