For five short weeks in 2020 we were able to meet face-to-face for Sabbath School – the month of February and into March. Our church had 6 classes with just under 50 attendees! The classes were as follows:
- High School Class (taught by Jeanne Webb and Angela Blakston)
- Year 7-9s (taught by Joshua Feldman)
- Year 5-6s (taught by Luke Feldman and Jane Blakston)
- Year 3-4s (taught by James Ellery and Margaret McEwen)
- Year 1-2s (taught by Hannah Sleeman)
- Prep (taught by Alex Mikesons and Bessie Mikelsons)
After a wonderful time at our denominations Fellowship Camp on Labour Day weekend in early March, we were suddenly thrown into having church by zoom and schools had switched to remote learning! As the year went on and it was clear these changes were going to be around for a while, session encouraged us to have a simple format for online Sunday School (available to the children up through year 6).
We got together and came up with a format that would work for us all to do Sabbath School together. Elder Joshua McEwen facilitated the zoom along with one other teacher welcoming each child as they arrived, Jane Blakston made powerpoint slides so we could sing some psalms together. Often children could lead the singing! The other teachers (Luke, James, Margaret, and Alex) took turns telling a story suitable to all ages. Then came the excitement of teachers with individual classes in break out rooms. We ended with a final prayer all back together at the end.
Thirteen of seventeen families were able to take part involving twenty two children and even a visitor who doesn’t normally attend our Sunday School classes! We thank the parents for their steady supervision and involvement.
Normally as part of our face to face time there is a collection, where children bring money to support Mukti missions in India. While we were no longer able to meet together the church happily agreed to complete our sponsorship of a girl named Sweety.
We appreciate the opportunities we had to interact together during the lockdown, but it was easy to see the limitations! (The high school age young people were not catered for here, but they did have separate Youth Group activities and studies each fortnight by zoom.) For this reason, when 2021 began, we waited until we could meet together in church buildings to resume our Sabbath School classes, which has been a joyful change for all of us!
Winnifred Nelson, Sabbath School teacher, Geelong RPC, Australia