Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING ~ CLC (Christian Life Club) for Kids ~ Valentine Party

The amazing Sue Conklin hung large flags of various European nations in our church's chapel (the former sanctuary.) She set up big round tables with decorations and flag centerpieces for each nation we are studying during this Missions Month. Europe is a mission field where the Free Methodist Church has missionaries. She had photos of these missionaries as part of the centerpieces. This was the annual Missions Food night for the children.

My assistant teacher took charge of all the food and our squad (the Trail Blazers of the CLC) helped to set it up on serving tables decorated by Sue with stripes in the primary colors of the European flags --they stood behind the table to identify and help serve the food for the other squads as they came through. I brought the Belgian truffles actually made in Belgium (Did you know the Lindor candies from Switzerland are actually made here now? --that's global economy for you --working in our favor. Churchills had them. ) I took the crust off the bread for some dainty cucumber sandwiches. Patty Bersinger made little tastes for 50 kids plus teachers -of recipes from European nations --cinnamon icecream, sorbet, pizza, little raspberry crepes, and other things I missed the names of because I had to accompany the worship team and leave her the work. But she had other help and she's good at being in charge of party food, games, etc. She likes to do everything I don't.

For the party, our 14 children, 3rd and 4th graders, first decorated and ate a Valentine cookie --baked by one of our teacher/mothers, Deb Claytor. Then Patty took them on a "spy walk" --she gives them each secret code names and they go stealthily through the hallways and downstairs to the music room --where I was waiting with Miss Valentine (Chrissy Rohrs) --who led them in a round --a new song for them: "Love, love love love, The Gospel in one word is love, Love your neighbor as your brother, Love love Love."

To get cooperation of people with spacy attention spans, we bribed them. (Did you know that somewhere in the Bible it does say something like, "A wise man useth a bribe!") So I gave each a zip lock bag and some Valentine treat for having successfully made the Spy Walk --and promised more if they all looked at Miss Valentine or me and participated in the singing, engaging with the words --and they all did! To Miss Valentine's amazement. And they sounded quite harmonious singing the round quite well. I had prepared the lyrics on Valentine stationary. Some asked if they could keep theirs.

We closed with "For God so Loved the World, he gave His only son, to die on Calvary's tree, from sin to set me free. Some day He's coming back --what glory that will Be! wonderful His love to me." The song is based on John 3:16 which was their January memory verse. And more candy was given --and they seemed to think they had had a good time.

Challenges-- we are busing kids in and need more van drivers. We could probably use another van. We are reaching the place where we need to split classes and aren't sure we have the teachers. We have some disciplinary problems but not so much in our squad. The younger kids' class is a bit too big, so we are getting more assistants in there. The older kids' class has a couple of unruly comedians and it is also a little bit larger than ours. So the minister and another young husband are planning to take the boys out for a separate class.

Patty and I are relieved that, so far, we don't have anyone telling us we are boring or giving us bad attitudes. We are experienced mothers of 4 kids each ourselves. So we aren't real strict --and we like all of them. And they know it. And I love to teach and get excited about some of our projects and goals. This is true of all our CLC staff. We just need to know how to deal with our growth and with students who are pretty impulsive, very lively, and very rude to each other, loud and wild, on the vans and in the halls and stairwells especially. An hour and a half with them weekly isn't much influence compared to the rest of children's lives.

The bus driver, Paula Swann, told me that one of my students asked her, "Does God see you all the time?" She assured him He does. First, he had asked, "Does God live at the church?" Paula told him that God lives in the hearts of those who believe in Him and so He is everywhere they are. And everywhere in general. He said, "Does that mean He could see someone in the Boys' coat room even if they were very careful to not be seen?" She assured Him God sees everything. He said, "O NO."

You know, a conscience can be a very good thing to cultivate in children.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

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