This summer our children will experience an immersive introduction to the life and letters of St. Paul. They will hear about his early life, his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, his life in the power of the Holy Spirit, his missionary journeys, and his death as a witness to Christ, a death experienced in the hope of resurrection of the body – the hope of ‘putting on’ the ‘spiritual body’ which will live forever in Christ (1 Cor 15:35-58).
These lessons will be taught in the style of Godly Play, with seven beautiful plaques, one for each week, illustrating the key moments in Paul’s life. This style encourages age-appropriate worship and encounter with the Holy Spirit, as the children are invited to interact imaginatively with the narrative and make connections between stories and between the stories and their own experiences. Each session with the children will be further illustrated through ‘breakouts’ with the children that enable the children to go a bit deeper into the story in small groups.
And most importantly of all, our summer children’s ministry team is providing parents with resources to deepen their children’s discipleship in their homes. As Jamie Smith says, “every household has a ‘hum’ and that hum has a tune that is attuned to some end, some telos. We need to tune our homes, and thus our hearts, to sing his grace,” and our desire is that Ascension homes will ‘hum’ with the tune of communion with the triune God. With John Chrysostom, our desire is that every Ascension home would be a ‘domestic church’, in which children are raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
These resources, which include bible memory verses, questions to help parents discuss the verses with their children, and explanations of the plaques discussed in each lesson, will enable a greater understanding of the gospel and ability to live it out faithfully. We pray that as we learn more about St. Paul and the good news of the death and resurrection of Christ that upended and refashioned his life, that we would also learn by the Spirit to search ‘all things, even the deep things of God’ (1 Cor 2:10b).