September 8, 2020

When I was growing up, inspirational posters were a popular wall decor choice.  They come in many varieties, but most consist of a slogan and a photo and many are so familiar they may blend in to the background of modern life.  An athlete slam dunking a basketball and a slogan written boldly above his head “Just Do It ”. Or the lyrics to a song like John Lennon’s “Imagine” in bold text in a field of flowers.  These are just two examples that come to mind.  For me there are two “motivational posters” that continue to inspire and shape my world view. 

One is a poster of Murphy’s Law written out in two descending columns like Moses’ 10 commandments. This poster was our bathroom reading material and where I learned to read as a child. In the poster was a picture of an old car stuck in the mud, missing a tire, and the words: “What can go wrong, will go wrong.” and “If everything seems to be going well you have obviously overlooked something.” Among other pearls of wisdom from this poster I learned that life is a series of lessons in what human-kind can expect just when you make plans and expect everything to go “according to them.” Over the past 6 months God has responded to our plans with a resounding, “Not so fast!”

The other inspirational poster from my childhood was one that I even took with me to college, much to my roommate’s disbelief. As I hung it on our wall she asked, “Are you seriously putting that up in our room?” This poster is of a rainbow glowing over the ocean and below the rainbow are the words, “God is my rainbow in the storms of life”.  I answered, “Yes, I’m serious.” And I still have the poster.

From these two inspirational fonts of truth, I know that no matter what Murphy’s Law (s) can throw at us, God always gives us symbols of hope, no matter what the struggle.  As a wise friend recently shared, “Don’t give up before the miracle.” These are exact the things I want to teach my kids and provide to families on the Island as we begin St. Andrew’s Family Ministry this week.

Below you will see the link and information to sign up for St. Andrew’s Family Ministry take-home Sunday school bags which will include a monthly themed activity kit with stories to inspire, a song to sing, supplies for a craft and an invitation to share photos of the crafts or the stories you create from the take home bag.  Our first theme is based on my motivational rainbow poster, because what better message for our children is there than to know God is our rainbow?  It is our hope that no matter where we are, together we can reflect God’s light and share sweet signs of hope with our community. 

Sign up for a bag here:

http://tiny.cc/familyministry20-21

The faith based activity bags are free and available for delivery or pick up at St. Andrew’s Parish House porch on the second Friday of every month from 9-2 pm.

We look forward to sharing this faith journey with you and little ones you care for or know in the community. Contact us today to get an activity kit for your child!

We look forward to sharing this faith journey with you and little ones you care for or know in the community.  Contact us today to get an activity kit for your child!

Blessings,

Laura Noonan

Virtual Sunday School Coordinator, MV Museum Oral History Assistant and Mom to two precious children


January 2019

Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.                                                   

In September I began my fourth year directing the Sunday school program here at St. Andrew’s.

The big news: we now have a name: Worship and Play (because there’s worship in the play and play in the worship). 

Worship and Play is inspired by the Montessori-based Young Children and Worship; Godly Play; and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd programs. And while I can’t take credit for the theology or philosophy behind my program, or the scripts that I use with the presentations, or the templates I use for the creation of the story pieces, I will say that the way I have implemented the various elements of the above programs is my own creation, based on my many years’ work with children as well as my liturgical training at Hebrew College, and I am please with the way it works. 

The programs mentioned above are all based on the premise that young children already have a relationship with God – all they need is the space and the materials with which to bring this relationship to the surface. This is my goal in Worship and Play, beginning with our worship space – literally, the way it is set up, it is a three-dimensional Bible; a place that the children understand is a holy space. a place unlike any other in their lives, a place that is set aside for listening to God and each other, singing to God, talking about God, hearing God’s stories, and responding to God through art and music and other spontaneous and creative play.

We greet each other with songs of welcome and praise and we present our gifts to God at our prayer table.

The children hear and see a three-dimensional Bible story, followed by wondering questions and an invitation to respond creatively to how the story may have inspired them.

We then gather back at our circle where we light the Christ candle and read a short version of the day’s presentation from the Bible.

We continue with the Lord’s prayer, and on to breaking bread together in the form of crackers and juice. Our meal time often includes a recap of our story, read from one of our illustrated children’s Bibles, and a song or two. We close with the singing of Shalom Chaverim (Goodbye, Friends), and I give each child a blessing, with the reminder to “Take God’s love with you from this place and share it with the world.”

I sometimes get discouraged that there are not more children in the program – we typically have between one and four children, ages 4 to 8, in attendance – but I am keenly aware that even if one child is present, my work is never wasted. I am grateful for the opportunity to do this work

Also, a big thank-you to my faithful assistant and door-person/greeter Laura Noonan, who also provides a very fun and happy nursery during the 10:00 service. 

Pax Christi, Sara Piazza