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[PYCL: Practice “dry-cleaning”—Strive for more deeply spiritual forms of worship! (1)
Possible Younger Class Lesson Ideas for Sunday School from
the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on:

For July 12, 2020

By Kerry Jenkins, CS, of House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com • 314-406-0041

Pycl#1: Strive for more deeply spiritual forms of worship!
What is a "sacrament"? Have a brief discussion of the major ones: Eucharist and baptism. What role do they play in Christian Science, are they important? (Yes!)
Do we practice them in the same way that is common among Christian churches? Why/why not? How did Jesus show us the way in practicing religious ritual, or in not doing so?
Didn't he consistently buck such ritual while still fulfilling religious law?
He said he came to fulfill and not to destroy the law, but in what ways?

Think of how Jesus healed on the Sabbath, touched the unclean, seemed to avoid such religious law by refusing to stone the woman who was caught as an adulterer. Did he really disobey law? Or, was he seeing the Mosaic law in a more spiritual light? Think together about the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) where he really went through a more spiritual understanding of religious law.

For example, Jesus spoke about not bringing a sacrifice to God in the temple while still holding resentment toward another. That is a more deeply spiritual form of worship! If we understand that in holding less than love for our fellow man, we are holding less than love for God (and therefore cannot be said to truly offer a sacrifice out of love), then we are learning a higher, more transformative view of law.

With the little ones, give an example of baptism and look together at the story of John baptizing Jesus. You can even demonstrate or show a picture or video of such an act. Why would pouring water "do" anything? Why did Jesus do this? Can we do this ourselves without the water? Come up with some ways that we can be "baptized" every day in our lives and one way that we can experience that purifying [“dry-cleaning”] right there in Sunday School.

If you are online, you can even set out some bread and fruit juice in front of you and talk about the symbolism. Do they have any thoughts about why Christian Scientists don't do this ceremony? Is the ceremony bad? I love just asking questions and letting the children think it through! Hopefully we can agree that the ceremony is not "bad", but, as Jesus pointed out, can often lead to a less than truly compassionate view of our fellow church member, if it is not carefully thought about.

Also, can they think of things that are habits in their lives? Come up with examples. Maybe we are able to brush our teeth without thinking about it. Do you think that this very important "last supper" Eucharist sharing should become as habitual as teeth brushing? That is another reason to avoid ritual.

Pycl #2: [Join an "exodus" from material thinking into "Promised Land" spiritual oneness!] Take an overview of the whole story of the Jews fleeing Egypt, wandering in the wilderness, finding and inhabiting the Promised Land. How is it applicable to our lives today? Why do we read this story? With the younger ones, you can simply tell the whole story and talk about how it shows God's continuous care, tender leading, provision of home, food, water, and so on.

With the older ones think about how we are all on this "exodus" from material ways of thinking, into the "Promised Land" of spiritual oneness, where we recognize our continuous safety. On the way we are discovering/demonstrating/growing and learning. This process does not deny the fact that we are always one with God, but the story helps us see the steps of thought that get us to understanding what is already established for all mankind. You could share some thoughts on the fact that the Children of Israel passed up their first opportunity to enter this Promised Land, because they didn't believe that God had really provided it, they were afraid.

How are we afraid today to accept the bounty that God is providing currently? How are we walking away from good because we think we don't "deserve", aren't spiritually discerning enough, think it might be too boring, think we might need to get an education/make money/grow up/ etc. first, before we can "enter".

It is pretty interesting to ask these questions, and it can be put in terms of smaller children as well. "Do you think there is a Promised Land for you?" "If so, how do you get there?". Even though these people didn't go into that land the first time, what happened in the forty years before they did? Did they languish? No! They wandered in the wilderness (look up definition of wilderness in Science & Health, p. 597:16). Their shoes and clothes never wore out!! Think about that, have any of the students had shoes and clothes that didn't wear out?!!! They had food, every single day, all that they ever needed, for forty years!!! Do we have that? This all is to show God's loving relationship with each of us today, just as in Moses' day. Today, we have this sacred relationship with our Father-Mother God.

Pycl #3: Clean a window together… Show them how oil and water stay separate…
What does it mean to "worship" God? How do we do this on a daily basis? Be specific. We can use, for example, the Beatitude: "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (B5, Matthew 5:8). What does that mean? Why pure in heart seeing God? (Baptism, again!) Clean a window together. Can you see out of it more clearly? You can do this online as well!

Can we see our thoughts as a window for light, for Spirit, to shine through? Is this a way of worshiping God? How? Pure can also mean unmixed, we can think of having our thoughts and actions all-good, not mixed with human opinions, with anger, hurt, sadness. When these things appear in our experience, as they seem to do, we can be undismayed, see them, and just let them drive by us like cars on the road. They are not "us", they do not belong to us!

Show them some oil and water (put food coloring in the water for better contrast!) how they stay separate, how we can shake them together. Sometimes life can seem like good and bad, but we can be still and see how these things are not one. Watch how, as it is still, the oil eventually separates and rises to the surface.

Pycl #4: Share a time when you felt you were communing with God?
What is communion with God? How is it any different from prayer?
Why do we kneel in church during this service? What does kneeling symbolize?
Try kneeling in communion and saying the Lord's Prayer together. How are they listening for what God is telling them? Does it have to be in words? Can they just feel love, or peace, joy?

Share a time when you felt you were communing with God?
Depending on your class you might discuss how being out in nature can help in this process.
Some children, less familiar with the outdoors, may not feel this way!!

Pycl #5: Have a "spiritual breakfast" together! Drop fruitless toil and find communion!
What was that "spiritual breakfast" that Jesus gave the disciples? Share some breakfast with the children, if you are in-person, show them a plate with breakfast (does not have to be grilled fish!). What did this breakfast symbolize for the disciples? Wasn't it a demonstration of Love's tender, constant care for Her children, always providing (full nets–breakfast, etc.).

Don't we sometimes have to be "convinced of the fruitlessness of our toils in the dark"? [S19, 35:2] Can you give an example of how we sometimes keep trying to do things a certain way, not succeeding, and then finally realizing that we need to turn to prayer, to real communion where we are listening to God?

I can think of dozens of examples where I have forged ahead and then had to pause and wait to find that I needed to listen more carefully. Share some ideas. Maybe with the children it was a time where they said something that they thought was important to say, and then realized it was not helpful.

We can, like the disciples, "leave that ship" that is only gathering human "good". We can go to the shore, in the "bright morning sun", the dawning understanding, and "eat" with the Master, even today. That Christ is leading us, showing us what we need, speaking in our ear in just the way we need to hear. This is communion!

Have a great Sunday!

Last Call for digital connection to ONLINE Specialty Camps next week“free” as needed!
July 12-17: Online Camp with Themed Programs ($125-$300/week**): Dive into an area of interest with Christian Science friends. Programs include Horse Camps with the Wranglers, Nature Camp, Arts & Crafts Camp, Cedars Sprouts (pre-school), Main Camp, Compound Idea Program for Middle Schoolers, and Junior Leadership for High Schoolers. Click HERE for program descriptions. (FULL: Musical Theater (2 weeks), Maker Faire)

**Camperships, Computers, and Internet Access are readily available to help

  • USA and Canada: Apply to The Campership Fund. If you need more support, please be in touch with CedarS.
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  • Computer and Internet access are available. See camper application for further details.

All Online Camp Programs Include the Following:

  • A 2020 T-shirt will be sent to each camper during their first week of online camp
  • All campers will receive a digital quality award at the end of the session.
  • Links to daily inspirational practitioner talks, live streamed tours and activities at camp, and “how-to” and activity videos created by CedarS counselors who are at camp right now!
  • Links to videos of staff doing home challenges (exercises, bed making, camping out, fire-building, and more!).
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