Memorial Church of the Good Shepherd
Friday, October 20, 2017

Good Shepherd Church School News
November 2010: Children and Youth

Although we cancelled our trip to the acolyte festival in Washington, our young people and families have been well occupied. We’ve enjoyed Youth Sundays, more acolytes learning the vocation, parent readers, basil harvest and pesto pizza, Creation flash cards (for use during the Easter Vigil service), Halloween and All Saints’ Day banner processions, Psalm chanting.

Thanks to Parola Chery for stepping up into more leadership and service; to Donna Thain for coming on as a Church School teacher for November and December; to David Rowe and Lucy Bell Sellers for helping us cook 6 pies, four tins of brownies, and one bread pudding!
Christmas Pageant Preparation: This week, we will begin more actively to prepare for our new Christmas pageant, chosen by the children themselves. Author Patricia Williamson describes it like this:
“Our Family Memories of Christmas” isn’t really a play in
the proper sense, even though there is a script and music and pageantry. It is much more than that. It is really a format for a congregation to share their experiences through their common stories of Christmas. The program’s benefits are many:
•Stories are shared across generations.
•Families share with each other.
•The congregation, through the sharing of stories,
experiences itself as a large, multigenerational family.
•All members recognize the continuity of the Christmas
experience, despite differences in language, time
periods, and “gizmos.”
This Sunday (November 14), children will call grandparents and dear elders in their lives and interview members of the parish to ask them a set of questions about their memories of Christmas. We’ll weave these interviews into a formatted script, which will include, of course, the Nativity pageant as well. Then, children will perform the pageant at the service on December 19th - the Sunday before Christmas.
Please be ready to take 10 minutes during coffee hour to go with a young person when s/he asks you. We’re consciously using our activities to bring the members of our families into closer fellowship. That fellowship, as we know, deepens our worship together, and helps us live out our Baptismal covenant. We’ll rehearse the pageant during December, during Church School. We’ll also likely need to stay after church at least one Sunday as well.
Advent Preparation: We make Advent wreaths in church for children to take home and light throughout Advent. We’ve also made Advent calendars for children, ages 3-10, and Christmas cards to sell to the parish to raise funds to make a Christmas gift through the Heifer Foundation of chickens or ducks to help hungry people.
This year, we’ll need an Advent Calendar angel to help round up the calendars and fill the pockets. This work/fun really does deepen the Advent worship life of the adults who make the calendars as well as the children who receive them. 
Please call Lorene to help. Non-parents are especially welcome. If you’re not sure how to help Church School, just call 215-498-0668 and volunteer for a month or two. What we need most are regular, dependable, all-purpose adults!
Destiny Africa: Finally, we thank you for your support of the Kampala Orphanage Children’s Choir on November 4th. Special gratitude to Barbara Berkowitz, who has made it her ministry to support the Church School with email, mail, and website communication. Special thanks to Timothy Shepherd, for whom the technical challenges included many last-minute changes with loads of variables. Thanks to Tina Smith-Brown for graphic design work, and to Vicki Riley, who worked with me outside of church. And thanks, also, to Fr. Bob, whose openness and willingness to encourage and support the Church School allows us to reach for “big church” richness in worship, activities, and targeted outreach in our small church community.
Jesus told us: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Inasmuch as we treasure our children, they will treasure their worship experience among us—and families, too, who need support raising kids amidst competing values. Or as Abby would say: “Daddy happy!” 

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church photo by Timothy Shepherd