Thursday, February 25, 2010

Raaannnddooommm Thursday?!

It's Rannnndddommm Tuesday!

OH, wait, dang, I missed it!

Ok, we'll just skip the clicky button this week, but I need to get this post out.  I was away at a work retreat and neglected my posting duties.  At the very least, I need to get in one post a week.

Ok, here goes, a vomiting of what's on my brain matter:

Have to share an FB friend status.  Too funny.

FB friend #102 Has been kidnapped by her bed! Don't worry though, I should be able to break free in the morning. If not, please DO NOT pay ransom!!

Ok, just saw a news bit.  In Wisconsin, the legislature is working on passing a bill to fine $1000/day schools that continue to use a Native American mascot or name for their sports and school.  Apparently, Wisconsin is the state with the most mascots that use race based names east of the Mississippi.  I'm not sure what to think.  On the one hand, if Native Americans find it offensive, we should remove them, but if they don't have a problem or if they find it to be honorable, then should they all be removed?  I don't know how to land on this issue.  More here or here.

So, I'm driving down the road today.  I don't like to talk much about religion.  Much of that due to my upbringing, we just really didn't talk about it openly.  I went to church and Sunday school when I was young.  My early life was spent in the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.  The second portion of my at home life was spent in a Congregational Church.  Part of my adult life with very young children was spent with United Church of Christ.  For the most part, I believe, most of these organizations are what you would consider more "liberal" whatever that really means.  Our move to a smaller town created somewhat of a dilemma for our little family.  I would like for my children to attend a Sunday school, but I want to be sure the church we attend is open minded and does not use religion to put down groups outside their belief systems.  The other thing I like, and maybe I put too much stock on this, is for Sunday school to occur during the sermon.  Seriously, is that too much to ask?  The one church we finally chose to attend in this town was actually because at first, they had Sunday school during a church service.  You know, they have the opening, some prayers and then the children's sermon, then the kids head to Sunday school before the offering and actual sermon.  To me, being an educator, I feel this is the best way for children to learn.  They are in an age group where they can play and learn at their level.  When our children were very young, the UCC church had Sunday school lessons based off the same lessons and Bible verses read to the adults and the sermon preached.  Brilliant.  That made sense to me.

Alas, the church we chose, just like all the other churches in town, went to Sunday school in between two services.  Our attendance dwindled precipitously.  I just can't stand the torture of taking my children to a sermon.  They are bored, bug me and neither they, nor I get anything out of it in the end.  The last time we were there (when my in-laws visit, when we HAVE to go to church because they think we're seriously bad if we do not go), not only did our children still have to sit through the church service, but we were greeted with an advertisement for a Christian movie before the service started.  And I read in the bulletin that the Sunday school was "Singing and Cinema."  I do NOT want my children watching crappy "Christian" videos for learning.  They get enough video crap all the time.  And the movie advertisement was just too much for me.  I do not want to go back there.

However, that leaves me with the problem of still not finding a church I am happy with.  There are no churches around here that have Sunday school during the service.  I do not like making my kids sit through a service, nor do I feel I need Sunday school.  I did Sunday school when I was a kid, okay?  I think I'm set and if I feel like reading the Bible, I will if I feel like it.  I also do not want to have to drive to another town 30-40 minutes away, just to get to a more populous area that might have the denomination and type of service that more closely fits what I'm comfortable with.

So the idea hit me as I was driving to work today.  How about a HOME SCHOOL Sunday school?  And I started getting serious about these thoughts.  People don't send their kids to schools because they don't like how things are done there or what beliefs are taught in schools.  Why can't I keep my kids at home on Sunday and give them age appropriate lessons with my religious belief system because none of the churches fit what I want? (which, really, I think means I will share about other religions and beliefs and let them know why I believe the way I do)  So, I'm thinking I'll look up Sunday school resources for Disciples of Christ or UCC beliefs and work it from there.  Anyone have any connections or suggestions for good Sunday school materials?  That may be tricky.

However, I think the not going to church will not work for our in-laws, so I'll have to think about that one.  Wish me luck proposing this to Mr. Wild.  Though maybe he'll see the logic in it.  I feel my children will benefit knowing the basics of Bible stories that are batted around conversations, TV, and news pieces, because, like it or not, our culture is Christian based.  And maybe some of those stories will give them a chance to think about consequences of actions whether good or bad, the blessings of forgiveness, and the rule of doing to others as you would want done to you (which I think works for anyone no matter where they come from).

You may wonder where all this came from.  An acquaintance of mine is asking other people about their beliefs, as she's trying to define what's good for her family in regards to religion and it started me thinking about mine and my family and our struggles to instill something in our children while we as parents are still not quite sure about where we stand (I think I'm stronger in some convictions than Mr. Wild.  The belief system he was raised in fell apart when he went to college and met other perfectly nice people that didn't fit into his parents' world view.  He hasn't been able to reconcile his new views with the old belief system that still clings to him).  I think it is something we all struggle with in different ways.


Kelly said...

I am not a Christian, but I wholeheartedly believe that religious literacy is very important for children. The stories of the Bible are a part of our cultural fabric and they say a lot about human nature, regardless of what you believe. I am also a homeschooler, so I think Sunday school at home is an awesome idea. It will also keep your kids from having to watch crappy movies starring Kirk Cameron.

♥ Braja said...

Yes, it's an issue...but I think you'll find benefit and depth not so much in a belief "system," but in spiritual and philosophical knowledge; that's what I found, and I love it. It's true what Kelly says too: stories in the Bible, like those in any other religion, are about human nature, about how to behave, and so on. So it's not a matter of teaching your children a "religion," but giving them the foundation so that when they're adults, they can choose their own.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I could so relate to this. I wish I had found a church like our old one where Sunday school was during the service and the church felt truely good and not judgy.

Aliceson said...

As kids (we were raised UU) our Sunday school was during the service and it worked out great. We never interrupted a service that was almost always geared for the adults anyway and we had our RE classes without the parents being bored. Besides, Unitarians don't really do Bible studies so unless there was a Yoga class going on, the adults weren't going to hang around.

As adults now, my husband and I don't attend church and prefer to leave it up to our kids once they are older to choose their faith. Plus sleeping in on Sundays is too good to give up.