This past summer, I got an email from Tammy Martens, looking for Sunday School teachers. My heart immediately swelled at the idea, but my brain hesitated. I’ve always been a bit awkward talking about my faith, even with my children. It was one of the reasons I love the Sunday School program at ORUCC so much – it provided an avenue for my children to learn and talk about God – without super awkward Mom trying to say the right thing all the time. And what right did I have to teach anyone about God, especially some of our most impressionable church members? But my heart wouldn’t give up on it. And, Tammy is so wonderful, comforting, and approachable, I got confident I could do it and I went for it.
Teaching Sunday School has been a tremendously precious gift in my life. It is a small thing that has had a great impact. I have found that whenever you teach you learn, and probably more than you teach to others. This has been true of this experience as well. I have connected with the church community so much through the children in our class and through my co-teacher, Alyssa. I love watching these little people learn and think as we tell the stories each Sunday. Their answers to some very tricky questions are sometimes beautiful, honest, and thought-provoking, sometimes incredibly sweet and funny. These little people have opened up a new part of my faith that I didn’t know existed. This experience has helped me not only feel like a connected member of ORUCC, but has me looking forward to Sunday in a way I have never experienced before.
Teaching Sunday School seemed like a daunting task to me. Who was I to teach others about God? Although I am an extroverted person, I’ve always been extremely private about my faith…so this was outside of my comfort zone. Tammy assured me that the curriculum was easy to follow and, moreover, fun. Half a year in, I can’t believe I was nervous about teaching! It has been a true joy in so many ways, but my 3 favorite takeaways are as follows:
1. I’ve received the wonderful gift of getting to know some of our congregation’s youngest members — how fun to watch them grow and get to know their families;
2. I’ve been able to deepen my understanding on biblical stories in an interactive way;
3. True to Tammy’s word, the curriculum IS fun and approachable. In teaching, I’ve found that talking about faith with my own children has become a much more comfortable, enriching experience.