SUNDAY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
St. Augustine's Episcopal, Oakland
Susan Ginsky, Head of Youth Education
Our church parish reflects the diverse, urban neighborhood where we are located.
Our youth education program is based on the lectionary, enhanced to respect the richness of African American culture. (Historically, our church has been a place where African Americans worshipped and African American clergy were called to serve.)
This statement provides information about the Sunday School: who we are, what we learn, and how we do it.
Susan Ginsky served as Sunday School Superintendent of St. John's Episcopal, Cumberland, RI, for several years. From there, having found her passion, she went to Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, for a Master of Divinity, with a concentration on teaching youth in a multiethnic urban setting.
We are a one-room schoolhouse with a curriculum that accommodates to each child's learning style and learning skills. Currently, we serve ages 5-19. The expansion of staff is anticipated so that we can serve those under 5. Our classroom is in the midst of modernization, as are other areas of our church. We have adequate supplies for all types of projects and Magni cent support from the parish for our needs.
Routinely, the lesson is based on the lectionary; there are also many exceptions for the purpose of enhancing our program to take account of who we are and the parish's goals. Examples are a focus on African American culture and lesson-based-working in our garden.
The lectionary for each week is at www.lectionarypage.net
The Lesson Plans That Work for each week are at www.episcopalchurch.org
The Abundant Life Garden Project is at www.episcopalrelief.org.
Class begins with the lesson. Students read and discuss the lectionary passage. Often there is a video from one of the many organizations that produce children's Bible stories. To conclude, students write the answers to some fact and thought questions to show how they engaged with the Bible passage. An activity may follow, time permitting. The favorite activity for our current scholars is acting out what they have learned from the lesson. We have a rich storehouse of materials for all kinds of arts and crafts as well.
An important responsibility for the teacher is responding to the questions the lesson raises for the students. There are usually many questions. Given the wide range of faith and belief traditions within the Episcopal Church these discussions are structured carefully to honor the home traditions of the students. Further research is sometimes needed for a full response; in such event, scholarly sources are consulted. At times, a student's question can lead to a curriculum for the next week!
February 20, 2018