This year, we began our time in Church School with Psalm 1 imagining our lives of faith and our pursuit of and delight in God’s word as a tree. A tree planted and nourished by water with deep roots. Alive. Vibrant. Strong.
It’s always difficult to know how to end the year. This year we do so with thanksgiving and praise, acknowledging all that God has done for us as we have journeyed through the stories of Scriptures as companions in life and faith.
Gathering: As you gather begin with a prayerful, communal activity focusing on Thanksgiving. Ask the students to remember what they have learned this year using the questions below (feel free to add other questions and prompts). Write each thanksgiving down on your whiteboard or on a sheet of poster paper.
- What story did you most enjoy or do you most remember?
- What did you learn this year that you never knew before?
- Who became a friend this year?
- What did you learn about a teacher that you did not previously know?
- How did you grow?
- In the future, what do you most want to learn about God, the Bible, the Church, and yourself?
Read Psalm 150. In classes with younger children, divide the reading between all of the teachers with each person reading a few verses. Read as though you love it! In classes with older children of reading age, read the passage in unison. When you finish, Praise God for all of your written Thanksgivings “Praise God for John who became my friend” or “Praise God for the story of your faithful prophet Nathan” or “Praise God for all of the fun we had.” God around the room, inviting each child to Praise God for something that is written, their own thanksgiving or someones in the class.
Respond with Art (if you do not have time, this is the piece you can remove): Older children can create word art with the Psalm (like this) and younger children may want to illustrate something for which they can give thanks to God. Use any medium that you prefer–collage, watercolors, acrylics.
Parting Ways: Some extra snacks will be in your class for the day. Pass out the snacks and wrap everything up. Remind the students that this is the last day of Sunday School. We will begin again in the Fall. Invite them to Vacation Church School on June 12-16 and encourage them to bring a friend (Pass out the VCS info half-sheets that I will put in your class). Then, pray for them. Keep your prayer simple and short, but make sure to name each student in your class and ask that God go with them this Summer. Dismiss them with a short blessing and Christ’s peace.