When you grow up as the daughter of the pastor and Christian educator, you tend to log a lot of hours in Sunday School. I have countless memories of wonderful dedicated volunteers who taught me the love of Jesus throughout my life. They read to me, played and did crafts with me, helped me learn memory verses, and taught me songs of faith that I am now singing with my own child in the mornings on the way to preschool. In all of this, they surrounded me with God’s Story, and an appreciation of the ways God’s story was ongoing in my own life.
Sunday School at its best, though, came for me in high school at Bellevue Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, as I got to know Mrs. Judy during my sophomore year. While many teachers assumed that as the PK I knew all of the answers to the lesson’s questions (and often they weren’t totally wrong), Judy assumed I had questions. She created space for me and others to be who we were in that moment, complete with all the struggles we had as we wrestled with our understandings of who we were and who God was. She allowed me to be me, free from any labels of assumptions at a time when I needed it the most. And, as a result, I was able to grow in my faith, deepening my relationship with Christ and finding a fulcrum in the balance of faith and uncertainty.
At its best, our time together learning in faith is an opportunity for us to be our most real and authentic selves, bringing the tough questions of our world and lives and allowing our responses to them to be shaped by the Word of God. This is what happens each week on our church campus during Sunday School (and at other times through Bible Studies and Presbyterian Women Circles) as brothers and sisters in Christ meet to wrestle with our questions together. Our conversations are strengthened by our diverse experiences, and we want you to be a part of them. When you do, I think you will find that often you will both have something to offer and something to learn. Join us. There is room for you at the table.
~Rev. Elizabeth Lovell Milford
September 2017 Newsletter