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Pastor Bob's Report

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This time of year our thoughts and actions return once again to education, whether in our church or in our schools. Our young people are once again starting a new school year and our Sunday school is gearing up to once again teach about Jesus’ love for us and how we are to share that love with one another. A couple of years ago we visited the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta, Georgia. I have a picture from that visit on my computer screen. The picture shows Mary pointing to Dr. King saying, "The church has always been a second home for me. For as long as I can remember I was in church every Sunday…it was the Sunday School that helped me build the capacity to get along with people.”

It may come as a surprise to you, but Sunday school is a relatively modern phenomenon in the Christian church. It got started in England at the end of the 18th century. The industrial revolution had resulted in many children working six days a week in factories and missing out on a basic education. In order to save them from a life of illiteracy, Christians set up classes on Sundays to teach them reading, writing, arithmetic, and a basic knowledge of the Bible. With the eventual enactment of child labor laws and compulsory education, the focus of Sunday Schools became almost exclu-sively religious education. That is how we arrived at the form of Sunday school that is such an important part of almost every congregation today. We are thankful for all of you who give of your time and talents to teach our children.

But as important as Sunday school is in teaching our young people, it is really at home that children learn how to grow up to be mature, practicing Christians. That does not mean every parent needs a degree in theology. Rather, it means that families that do things like say grace before meals or bedtime prayers, or who remember baptisms at bath time, or who read Bible stories before naps, or who worship together, or who sing hymns in the car, or who talk around the dinner table about how Christians respond to others’ needs—kids who grow up in homes like that are more likely to grow into adults with a mature faith. A friend’s father used to make the sign of the cross on the forehead of each of his children after tucking them in at night. Pretty simple, right? So we work together to raise our children to become loving and caring Christians. I am looking forward to another great year here at Christ Lutheran.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Bob Schoenknecht

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