You Can Go Home Again or Is It Time To Bury Sunday School pt. 7

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I grew up religiously lately. And I’m seeing how much I actually miss it. Now…before you accuse me of nostalgia…I, more than anybody, know the darker side of the black church. But, on the average, the black church gets church in a way that I don’t think UUs understand. (don’t worry, I’ll make this apply to Sunday School in a bit)

Now…if this post were about more aspects of the black church, I would point out that most members of the black church understand that church IS different. It is not Sunday afternoon in the park with George and it shouldn’t be treated that way.

So…what does this mean for RE and Sunday School? Lots, I think.

Wanna make your church intergenerational in a heartbeat? Follow the black church…don’t banish your children to RE while you’re in worship. Have them in there with you.

Want to integrate new members in a non-threatening but real way? Follow the black church…have religious education for adults that goes beyond New Member classes and BYOT.

Want to show your children that religious education is important? Follow the black church…be in a RE class at the same time as your children.

I’m sure there are other things I could say…but that’s all I can think of right now. More later.

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2 thoughts on “You Can Go Home Again or Is It Time To Bury Sunday School pt. 7

  1. Not just the Black church. I grew up WASP fundamentalist with the same three things:

    -Age-integrated worship. There was the option of a nursery for babies. Otherwise, from tots to grannies everyone was in worship together.

    -Adult SS/RE for everyone. The adult classes were separated by age, just like the children’s classes, with a seniors’ class, a middle-aged class, and a young-adult class.

    -Adult and Children’s age-specific SS/RE running concurrently. The congregation I grew up in used the hour after worship for SS/RE while my grandparents’ congregation used the hour before worship.

    Granted, our music was not as lively as is well known in the Black church. But within the terms of the culture in which we lived, our music wasn’t boring or duddy.

    And we did it all without air conditioning, I might add, on hard wooden pews, twice on Sunday and once in the middle of the week, with semi-annual 7-night-long revival meetings, just in case we weren’t getting enough of it, and the semi-annual revivals of five other nearby churches of the same denomination – and children in the thick of it all… Don’t want to replicate all of that, but your three points are things I miss too, Kim.

  2. Only HALF cynically, I’ve always wondered why UU adults don’t need to learn anything but newcomer stuff, or things offered at the local community college (film studies, yoga, knitting…)

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