Sunday, June 20, 2010

so much to be thankful for!

Our school runs the mother of all school fetes. Get your average school do, multiply it ten and you have our fair. We were there for 11 hours. Our church ran a stall (Nathan and Robyn made coffee) and we raised some money for the school. I got to speak to heaps of choir and RE parents. One mum told me that her boy asked for a bible for his 8th birthday last month. She got him one and also got him a book on world religions to keep things balanced!

I need to run a parents RE info night. Pray that it will still seem as important after the holidays.


  1. How excellent. And I hope you bought some of that hard toffee with hundreds and thousands in paper patty pans that stick.

  2. Micah bought one of those toffees. Disappointing. It got thrown away!

  3. I have fond memories of primary school fetes (that should have a French thingy above it, shouldn't it?). Especially helping my parents run the fruit and vege stall one year (yeah, I know boooring, but I enjoyed "playing shop").

  4. A parent's RE info night sounds like a GREAT idea. I haven't heard of that being done before. What a great way to reach more non-Christian families with the Gospel.

  5. I was interested in the parent's info night too, and what you were planning on saying. I remember going to a CRE information morning tea at my sons' primary school, and being a bit surprised by the insistence of the leaders of the program that they weren't trying to convert the kids, just educate them about what Christians believe. It seemed at the time that it was a bit disingenuous (my husband had taught CRE the previous two years and, while we know it is God who does the converting, I don't think that we would have organised ourselves so that he could take time off work and do it if we had no interest whatsoever in the children's conversion). Though perhaps the leaders of the CRE program weren't that interested, even if some of the CRE teachers were. It just felt at the time that they weren't being quite upfront with the parents.

    So I was wondering what you thought about the purpose of RE in schools?

  6. My aim in RE is to teach the bible to the kids so that they know what Christians believe. I want them to know that God is big and powerful and good and loving and forgiving and that he has standards which we don't live up to, but that Jesus did live up to and that we can be his friends. I want the bible to be seen as an interesting, relevant and compelling book. I tell them that if they have a bible at home they should read it.

    In RE, I pretty much just tell the stories (in their biblical/theological context) and let them speak for themselves. I want the kids to be drawn into the narrative. I don't issue too many imperatives but use rhetorical questions about what the characters in the story did/didn't do/should have done etc.

    The purpose of RE in school? Religion is part of every culture. It's a part of our culture. Makes sense to have some specific teaching on it at school. Kids pick which religion they'd like to look at. I teach the kids who want to learn about christianity.

    In a parent evening, I'd explain that I'm a teacher, that I'm from x church, that I love teaching their kids, I'd probably outline my teaching program for the year, and tell them a story from bible - kind of like a sample lesson. I'd explain some of the benefits of having kids in the program - better understanding of English literature, better understanding of themselves - they are valuable and loved by God, they (like all of us) make bad choices, do the wrong thing and hurt others. Knowing what to do with guilt is a really important thing. We talk a lot about forgiveness and the God who knows everything that we think and do (both the good and bad stuff), who takes our actions very seriously but continues to love us. Then I'd talk about common questions kids ask. Talk a little about bibles, the open up for questions.

    What do you think?