Sunday School Breakfast Club
This fall, St. Michael's fifth to ninth graders are exploring through the lens of the Christian faith nothing less than their purpose and place in the world. They've been meeting roughly every other Sunday (for what will be a total of six times) from 8–9 AM, hosted over breakfast at the Plafcan/Kusiak home and taught by Dan and a rotating second adult (usually another parent). After each "Sunday School Breakfast Club," they walk together to church for the 9:30 AM worship service.
The existential wondering and critical thought of this age group—which does not at all take for granted or privilege Christian understandings—deeply motivates the syllabus. The syllabus is also inspired theologically by recent Christian apologetics such as Samuel Wells' "Humbler Faith, Bigger God: Finding a Story to Live By" (2022). Over the first breakfast, the youth kicked off our exploration with their "Big Life Questions," such as: would we exist if God didn’t exist? Why did God kill the dinosaurs? Did humans create the idea of God? What will my job/career look like? (The youth generated these questions entirely, in their brainstorm.) For the second breakfast, we sketched how the habits and practices of our week-by-week lives do and do not make space for us to explore, discover, or reveal God and God's creation in our (initial, provisional!) answers to these questions. We watched Presiding Bishop Curry's "Way of Love" video, which outlines seven practices for a Jesus-centered life.
In our third class (on Nov. 5), we'll overview (wave tops!) the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament as both a constructed collection of ancient writings and as a source of spiritual/religious authority, inviting critical questions. In later classes, we'll turn to asking "Who is God?" and "Who are We?" We'll conclude, it is hoped, with a deeper appreciation of what Advent and Christmas means for us.
If you have a fifth to ninth grader who would like to join this exploration, please contact the Very Rev. Beth Franklin or Dan Plafcan.