In the 1950ies everywhere could be found Sunday Schools bringing the faith to the youngsters. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, they were in many countries part of the education parents wanted to have their children. Having come in the 21st century there does not seem to be so much interest to give children an extra-religious formation outside the regular school curriculum. There are not many parents sending their kids to a Sunday School any more.
The mission has stayed the same, providing Christian growth opportunities for the children and for seekers, but also to give more knowledge and possibilities for believers to go out to preach and witness of their faith.
Today, in our series of writings on the ecclesia we look at G. F. Lake his writing at the first part of the 20th century, a time when several women got seriously involved in the working of educating children in the faith. But at that time there were also Sunday classes for adults and to encourage the students prizes were given at certain times in the development of education and at the end of the academic year.
The work of a Sunday School is to carry on the training and influence of a good home. There is no better work to engage in. Even where there is no public assembly, where numbers and strength are too limited for the public proclamation of the Truth, this work can be done; and no work calls for greater patience, wisdom, and care.
If any will do it, let them examine themselves.
The minds of children are sensitive, apprehensive, and impressionable. Character is more effective than ability in dealing with them. The influence of good and devout women in such work cannot be overpraised, and few men are equal to it. Teach the children doctrine and sound precept.
An understanding of the Covenants of Promise and an appreciation of the life and work of the Lord Jesus will bear better fruit than the memory-taxing exercises so often put upon them.
The writer would repeat his appreciation of the work which sisters can and may do in this matter, and it is good to reflect on them who fell on sleep having wrought a good work in the Sunday School. Among the names which are written in Heaven are — one may be permitted to believe — those of Mary Brabyn and Mary Turney.
G. F. Lake.
Hear, hear! We remember them at the work in Birmingham, 45 years ago. — Compiler Frank George Jannaway.
Prizes at our Sunday Schools.
There is no reason, let alone justification, for giving questionable books as prizes to the scholars at Christadelphian Sunday Schools. It has pained us more than once to hear the titles of books given away at the Annual Prize distribution.
Upon one occasion we had to withhold one such, and promise the scholar another book in its place and worthy of a Christadelphian home.
If the scholars were to do work deserving of prizes, and the School Committee selected the prizes discreetly and prayerfully, and with a view to the scholar’s present and eternal wellbeing, by the time the little one joined the Ecclesia the young Christadelphian would have quite a library of Christadelphian books. Whereas, through the thoughtlessness, or incompetency, or something worse, on the part of the Selector of the Prizes, such books as “Masterman Ready”,”Swiss Family Robinson”, “Gulliver’s Travels”, and “Jane Eyre” have taken the form of prizes! This, too, within easy distance of 21, Hendon Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham, where the following Christadelphian Books could have been obtained at about the same cost!
Bible,”Hymn Book”,”Ways of Providence”,”Visible Hand of God”,”Palestine and the Powers”,”Life of Robert Roberts”,”Nazareth Revisited”,”Law of Moses”.
And now, last but not least, “Christadelphian Answers”, which the publisher will supply at a reduced price when required for prize purposes at a Christadelphian Sunday School.
F. G. J
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