On 4-5 June, Bethany Bible School hosted a workshop on teaching Sunday School. This was the second of three workshops we are hosting this year in addition to the six curriculum topics we are also teaching. We introduced methods for teaching the Bible which we have used in various settings, namely from our time as youth pastors in the states and at home with our children. The workshop had four main sections over two days. First, Joe led a Bible Study which introduced the theme and spelled out the importance of knowing the Bible. Second, students divided into groups, each assigned a story from which to construct a drama to perform for the entire group. Third, Anna introduced the concept of the Jesse Tree (see this site), an advent activity which tells the stories of Jesus' lineage. It is a great way to learn biblical history. Students learned important stories leading up to the birth of Jesus and constructed a symbol out of available materials or illustrated the story. To our great surprise and delight, the students really got into the craft portion of this exercise.
Isaac also participated. He illustrated the messianic age as described in Isaiah 11, that "the lion shall lie down with the lamb" (he made a great attempt to spell it all out himself in his first-grade phonetic skills).The students then told their story for the whole group and explained their symbol or illustration before hanging it on the "tree".
Mama Booi from Idutywa, a faithful attender of BBS conferences, made a memorable and humorous contribution to the event with her creative retelling of the Israelites' wilderness wanderings under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. She found a picture of Bafana Bafana, the national soccer side (currently competing in the World Cup), and designated the keeper--the only one wearing unique attire--as Moses.We purchased children's Bibles in isiXhosa with funds raised by the children of a supporting congregation in the states. Each participant received a Bible to take back to the children of his or her own congregation.
The fourth activity of the day was for groups to take different verses from scripture and put it to a tune. Our AIC and Pentecostal brothers and sisters love singing as much--perhaps even more--than we Mennonites. In addition to the songs they put together on the spot, many longstanding scripture songs carried this workshop forward. In the video below, several participants collaborate to remember a song which tells the story of God's testing of Abraham.