Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jesus Swept

My earliest and fondest memories of growing up in church are from Sunday School.  My mom loves to tell the story of when I came bouncing out of Sunday School at age 5 boasting that I had learned the shortest scripture in the Bible … “Jesus swept.”  (I was a little off.  See John 11:35.  I also later learned how profound that short passage is.)  When I was 9 years old, we moved to Wallace, NC, where my parents still live today. My family has long since left the Baptist church that I went in and out of thousands of times, but I can still remember that old building quite well.  The cold tile floors, the green chalkboards, the strong coffee coming from the “adult hallway”.  I first set foot in that church in 1987, but I knew even then that the taupe paint and heavy wooden doors had not been changed since the 1960s when my mother attended as a teenager.  

As cold and sometimes dark the interiors could feel, it was easily warmed on Sunday mornings with the faithful teachers and students of Sunday School.  Traditionally, Sunday School began at 9:45 and “big church” at 11:00.  The 4th grade class met downstairs with Ms. Jewrell Brown.  "Ms. Jewrell" was wider than she was taller which only meant she gave the best hugs in the world, especially to us little ones.  She couldn’t say the words “ventriloquist” or “stomach” which always sent the class, and her, into wonderful fits of laughter.  She taught me memory verses, the words and motions to “This Little Light of Mine” (which we sang every week), and most of all, how to truly lead with a servant’s heart in the body of Christ.  This set the foundation of community and Biblical study that carried through my life.

After I’d moved away from home and attended other churches, I noticed more and more congregations that did not offer Sunday School classes.  While it seemed more convenient in my now busy life to have a shorter day at church, it was something that I was definitely missing.  That sense of communal study in the church (building) was something that I could not find the same way in any other setting.  When I began attending Church of the Apostles a year and a half ago, I was excited to see that fall classes were about to begin.  I immediately signed up and was glad that I did!  What a great way to get to know people as a new attendee.  I especially loved the inter-generational aspect that Sunday School seems to foster.  It is so valuable to experience life with those from different age groups … we had more in common than you might think.

As classes at Apostles start up again this Sunday (for children and adults!), I encourage you to consider joining a class.  Whether you are a Biblical scholar, someone who doesn’t know Corinthians from Thessalonians, looking to connect with the congregation or just curious about religion and how it could possibly relate to your daily life, there is a place for you!  Check the link below for a list of adult classes being offered.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Romans 15:4

~ Laura Witter, COTA Staff

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