“Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.” (Proverbs 22:6, NRSV)
These are the days when families, at least those with school-age children, are pushed to the limits of their functioning. With a new school year beginning, there are new schedules, new routines, new expectations, and new expenses that test even the healthiest of families. Tensions arise as everyone is trying to adjust to all the new patterns while also trying to complete a seemingly unending to-do list to be ready for the fall. Here’s the good news—either you will be ready when school begins, or you won’t be ready; regardless, you will be okay no matter what.
In the midst of the frantic planning and the last-minute errands, keep in mind the reason for all the fuss. We want our children to have the greatest opportunity for success, and so we’ll go to whatever ends are necessary to provide that opportunity. We want them to do well in school so that they will do well in life. It’s that simple. Providing a safe and secure environment in which they can thrive is the key to success. So to survive the rush and provide the best possible atmosphere for your children, list all the things you have to do, prioritize the list, plan for the things you can do, delegate the things you can’t do, and remember the “why.”
Like you and your family, the ministries of Canterbury have additional responsibilities as we prepare for the fall. One of our priorities is volunteer recruitment. Having enough people to provide learning and spiritual growth opportunities for our children and youth is a primary value for us. We already have some great volunteers lined up, but we still need more people. Many people are reluctant to volunteer because they fear they don’t know enough about the Bible. We provide an excellent curriculum that will guide you in teaching the children while also helping you grow in your understanding of the Bible stories you share. Other people don’t want to miss being in their Adult Sunday School Class. We have some teaching opportunities that only require two weeks per month so you could still participate in your class.
When my children were younger, I was grateful for all those adults who were a part of my children’s lives. Knowing there were other adults who were interacting with my boys provided a sense of relief to me. These adults were sharing love and wisdom that supplemented what I was able to give. I knew I was not raising my children alone; rather, I had a whole community behind me to help my boys develop as fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Reach out to Amy Dobbins (Interim Director of Children’s Ministries) or Brian Ward (Director of Student and Family Ministries) and offer your time, your attention, your love, and your gifts to be used in ministering to our young people. I promise it will not only bless the children and youth, but it will also bless their parents, and it will bless you!
Rev. Dale Cohen
Senior Pastor of Canterbury United Methodist Church