Let's call it 'formation hour' by ProQuest


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									18    Canadian Mennonite May 31, 2010

                                             Eastern Canada Annual Delegate Sessions

 Let’s call it ‘formation hour’
 By Dick Benner
 st. Catharines, ont.

 C     alling for more involvement of children
       in worship by re-naming the traditional
 Sunday school hour “formation hour,” Lisa
                                                    Her suggested shift
                                                 from education to for-
                                                                                                   delegates to “pay attention to all of our
                                                                                                   senses and to all of our ways of learning as
                                                                                                   we engage in worship.”
 Carr-Pries told Mennonite Church Eastern        m a t i o n “turns                                  She suggested that churches stand to pray
 Canada delegates, in their opening session      our goals from some-                              and turn in different directions, act out a
 on April 23, that children in Canadian cul-     thing that happens                                Scripture passage rather than just read it,
 ture are more segregated and isolated from      solely in a classroom                             and insist that Scripture remains at the
 adults than ever before.                        to something that is                              heart of what the church does together, to
   “Our churches need to continue to counter     modelled by the en-                               become “a meeting place where we encounter
 this growing trend,” she said. “What if con-    tire community in                                 powerful stories of the Bible given to us for
 gregations actually welcomed family units,      the context of faith,”        Carr-Pries          the transformation of life.”
 bringing them together as communities of        she said, basing her                                In noting a shift from understanding
 formation?” the associate pastor in charge      remarks on Deuteronomy 6, when Moses              the Bible as a book full of “unquestionable
 of children’s ministry at Waterloo North        tells the Israelite parents to “recite God’s      morals and absolutes, to a living, breathing
 Mennonite Church, Waterloo, posited as          commandments to your children, talking            book from which there is always something
 she confessed the reality of her own church     about them at home, when you are away,            to experience, understand, learn, play and
 as one where “families split up and go their    when you rise and when you lie down, bind-        think about,” she promoted the present
 separate ways” when entering the church         ing them on your forehead, fixing them as         Mennonite curriculum series, Gather ’Round,
                                                 emblems and signs, and writing them on the        saying the Bible-based study for nurturing
                                                 doorposts.  ”                                     children, youths and their families is “awe-
                                                    In today’s culture, when adults—especially     some and easy to use.”
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