Tag Archives: King David

We hear about Abigail, and learn to make storyboards with a ringer

It’s been a month since I got to teach Sunday school, but finally today I was the lead teacher once again; Susie, who had been the lead teacher last week, was the assisatant. Three of our regulars came to class today — Heather, Zach, and Dorit. We sat down in a circle, and Dorit immediately said, “Can tell about a good and bad thing?” Zach and Heather both said, “Yeah!” I said that we would do check-in as usual, but we had to do attendance first, and light the chalice. Susie took attendance, and when it was time to light the chalice, both Heather and Zach put their hands up.

Susie pointed out that Heather had been lighting the chalice a lot lately. I proposed that Heather light the chalice first, then blow it out, then Zach would light it. Heather and Zach said that Dorit should get to blow it out. After a more discussion, that is what we decided to do. Heather lit the candle in the chalice. Dorit blew it out. Zach lit the candle, and we were ready to begin.

We were about halfway done with check-in when tow more people walked in: Bobby, and his father William. (Bobby usually attends the 9:30 Sunday school.) I explained what we were doing, and asked them to join us in the circle. We continued the check-in; I had to explain to Bobby that just one person talked at a time (I believe they don’t do check-ins in his regular Sunday school class). Heather had gone on a sleep-over; Zach had had a good football practice; I had seen a car accident on the way to church; William had gotten a good letter from a client; Bobby wasn’t ready to say anything yet. When we got done, Dorit had “two more things” she wanted to add to her check-in. At last check-in was done.

“Because we have some new people, let’s go around the circle and everyone say our names,” I said. By now, our regulars are used to doing this, so we went around the circle twice and said our names. I asked who could say everyone’s name, and Dorit said she could, and she did. Continue reading

Abigail and David

The Sunday school class I’m co-teaching is doing a unit on King David. We used the stories from the book From Long Ago and Many Lands about David and Saul, and David and Jonathan — which are pretty much guy stories. So for tomorrow’s Sunday school class, I decided to do the story from 1 Samuel 25.2-42, which features the quick-thinking and clever woman Abigail. It’s still a rough draft….

Long before he became a king, when David was still running from Saul, afraid that Saul would kill him, he and his six hundred followers travelled to the wilderness of Paran.

In Carmel, which was near the wilderness of Paran, there lived a rich man named Nabal, who owned three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. Nabal was married to a woman named Abigail, who was clever and beautiful. Nabal himself, however, was rude and ill-natured; his name meant “The Fool.”

In the wilderness, David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. He decided to send ten young men to Nabal. David said to them, “Go to Carmel, find Nabal, and give him my greetings. Say to him, ‘Peace be upon your peace be upon your household, peace to all you have.’ Tell him that we have been living here among his shepherds, and we have not attacked them, nor have we stolen anything from them;– we have only the best intentions towards him and all those who work for him. You will arrive at his household on a feast day, and ask him if he would please give whatever food and drink he might have on hand to me and all of us.” David knew that anyone who lived in that land would feel compelled by the laws of hospitality to give at least some food to a band of men living in the wilderness.

David’s ten young men went to see Nabal the Fool, and they politely passed on David’s greetings, and his request for hospitality. But Nabal spoke to them harshly. “Who is this David?” he said. “There are many servants who try to run away from their masters. Why should I take bread and meat and water away from the people who have been shearing my sheep, and give it to people who come from I know not where?”

When the ten young men came back to David and told him what had happened, he told four hundred of his men to strap on their swords. “I protected his shepherds and everything else Nabal had in the wilderness, but for this good I did he returned to me only evil,” said David. “Now we will go and kill every male in his household.” They followed David towards Nabals’ house, while the remaining two hundred men stayed to guard the animals and the camp. Continue reading

Religious literacy: What do kids need to know about religion?

We’ve tentatively identified four big educational goals for the religious education programs in our church, and one of those goals is to make sure children have basic religious literacy compatible with the society they’re living in. More specifically, we want children who have gone through our program to know: (a) the main Bible stories they’re likely to encounter in Western culture (in literature, film, painting, etc.); (b) stories and facts about the main world religions they will encounter both in their immediate environment and in current events; (c) a basic knowledge of the history of Western religion (primarily Western Christianity), and in particular the history that led to the formation of Unitarianism and Universalism; and (d) the main characters and stories of Unitarianism and Universalism in North America.

Yesterday I had lunch with three of the lay leaders in the children’s religious education program to talk about assessment strategies for our religious education program. I suggested that part of our assessment strategy for this educational goal of religious literacy should be a list of the specific things we want to teach our kids; i.e., which Bible stories should kids know? which famous Unitarians and Universalists should they know? etc.

Below is my first attempt at generating such a list, with material to be covered from ages 3 to 18. I would love to have your comments on, suggestions for, corrections to, and additions to this list.

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