But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Luke 18: 16

Trinity Kids provides spiritual guidance, education, & community for children from infancy through 5th grade. For Preschool through 5th grade, the “contemplative model”; of children’s ministry is used to provide the framework for learning about the stories of the Bible, with a focus back to the gospel & salvation of Jesus Christ. Lessons and discussions are hands-on, reflective, and open-ended. Please contact Julia Guy (julia@trinityanglicanmission.org) with any questions or to learn more about Godly Play and the contemplative model.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A little meal and a little conversation....

      Over the past three years, I have had the incredible pleasure to join many of Trinity’s elementary age children for lunch at school during the week. As I sit and chat with them in their daily environment, I am always amazed by how much I can learn about them in such a short, 30-minute timeframe. Frequently, their classmates are equally excited to have a special visitor to share with. Our conversations commonly begin with a long interview by the children at the table to assess who I am. “Are you her mother? Her auntie? Her babysitter?” Many times, the child I am visiting will simply explain, “She’s my friend.” What a blessing it is to hear those words!!
     It is so important to me to truly know each of the children that are a part of our community here at trinityKids. My desire is to know them authentically- what interests them, what worries them, and what brings them happiness and joy. On Sunday mornings, there are any number of children that divide the attention of myself and the volunteers. It is our hope to provide each child with uninterrupted consideration at some point each morning, but it isn’t always possible. My time with them at school allows for some one-on-one conversation and the opportunity to peak into their world outside of the church walls.
     One of the most magnificent aspects of this one-on-one time is the bonding and trust-building that takes place. The child feels “known” and special. They are given space to share and be the center of attention. Also, I am able to ask intentional leading questions that help them to process things going on in their life. For example, I often ask, “So, do you like your new teacher?” This simple question may yield a simple “yes” or “no,” but sometimes it yields a long discussion about the classroom environment and discipline, how students treat one another, and what they are learning about. With younger children, I might ask, “What’s your favorite thing to do at recess?” I once enjoyed a 10-minute conversation with a Kindergartener about the merits of playtime and why recess should be a protected part of every school day. “Don’t you think running around makes it easier to learn later?” they asked. It was a perfect illustration of that child’s capacity for problem solving, analysis, and justice. I am so glad that I had the chance to see it!
     If you are reading this article, chances are, you are a parent with an elementary-age child.
Perhaps you’re wondering how to arrange a lunch date for your child. That part is easy! Please speak with me on a Sunday morning or email me with your child’s school, lunchtime, and their teacher’s name. Also, please let me know if your child has a favorite fruit of veggie that I can “coincidentally” have in my own lunch bag to share. I look forward to spending time with them soon! 

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