Summer Sunday School

From the Open Files of:

Heilig Resource Center, 704/633-4861

Contributed by:

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Kings Mountain, NC

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Program Notes


Sunday School


Summer Schedule

Breakfast at 9:30 a.m.

Summer Sunday School at 9:45 a.m.

Worship Service at 11 a.m.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church

201 North Piedmont Avenue

Kings Mountain, NC 28086

Global Mission, the spread of the Gospel to people of all nations, will be our focus for the 1990 Summer Sunday School.

Developed to contend with our summer "weekending" and "vacationing," Summer Sunday School presents programs that are complete packages in themselves.  You aren't lost if you miss a Sunday or two, but there is a continuity of theme so that regular participants don't feel like they are just bouncing randomly from topic to topic.

Each session will begin with a light breakfast at 9:30 a.m.

Come and listen to missionaries and special guest speakers, view excellent professional videos about the church in distant lands, and participate in exciting learning activities.  Make Summer Sunday School a special part of your summer months!



THEME: Africa & Eastern Europe

3rd      Tanzania

            *Dr. Frank Jones, medical missionary
            Breakfast: Priscilla & Jeff

10th    Niger

            "When Harvest Comes" video
            Breakfast: Beth & Lee

17th    Senegal & Liberia

            "Soft Walk in a Distant Land" video
            Breakfast: Barbara & Harwood

24th    Eastern Europe

            *Cindy Rinn, LCW Representative
            Breakfast: Doris McGinnis & Margaret


THEME: S. America, Africa, Middle East

1st       Colombia

            Susan Castor
            Breakfast: Lynne & Charles

8th      Peru

            "Journey of Hope" video
            Breakfast: Newby & Carl

15th    Somalia

            *Blair Orr, Lutheran World Relief
            "From Darkness into Light" film
            Breakfast: Martha & Glee

22nd   Ethiopia & Egypt

            "Ethiopian Hunger Appeal" video
            Breakfast: Camiel & Robert

29th    India

            *Rev. William Peery, missionary
            Breakfast: Mary Ann & Johnny



5th      China

            "Winter is Past" video
            Breakfast: Cathey & Al

12th    Japan or Indonesia

            *Elizabeth Huddle, teacher &  missionary to Japan, or
            Milt Colburn
            Breakfast: Sandy & John

19th    Japan or Indonesia

            *Elizabeth Huddle, teacher &  missionary to Japan, or
            Milt Colburn
            Breakfast: Rachel & Tim

26th    Program

            Finale of festivities with children in costumes of countries
            Breakfast: Nancy & Joe

Sept. 2            Mission Project & Prayer

            Breakfast: Judy & Bob

Note: Asterisk (*) indicates guest speaker/missionary

During the summer the children will learn about Global Mission.  When missionaries visit, children and adults will be combined.  The children will have special activities in the conference room on these Sundays:

                        June 10                       Tanzania Learning Center
                        June 17                       Senegal         
                        July 1                          Cameroon
                        July 8                          Ethiopia
                        Aug. 5                        China
                        Aug. 12 or 19            Japan Learning Ctr.
                        Aug. 26                      Program with Costumes
                        Sept. 2                        Mission Project


During the summer of 1990 St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Kings Mountain, NC held a three-month study of Global Mission. We conducted the program through our Summer Sunday School. After reviewing the available resources offered by the NC Synod Media Center, the Division for Global Mission, and Lutheran World Relief we selected themes for each of the three months. Missionaries were contacted for speaking engagements. We hosted five who were retired, on furlough, or stationed in the southeastern United States. We were blessed with exceptionally good speakers from a variety of backgrounds.

Our congregation had helped sponsor Elizabeth Huddle, missionary to Japan, many years ago. We were especially delighted to share a visit with her while she was vacationing in the United States. Dr. Frank Jones, medical missionary to Tanzania, had just returned to the U.S. Our church was captivated by his message of commitment to Christ. The women of our church had been sending cloth for bandages to Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center for many years. It was especially meaningful for them to meet him and hear his firsthand reports of the work in Tanzania.

The idea for a study of Global Mission began with a desire to be more informed about the worldwide mission of our church. Pastor Harwood T. Smith, Glenda Colburn, our Parish Education Chairman, and Katharine A. Mauney, A WELCA leader, expressed concern that our church was losing sight of our former commitment to missions and lacking zeal for the proclamation of the Gospel in word and deed. Global Mission studies and projects had been the focal point of many of our LCW and W/ELCA programs in past years. What had happened to our concern for the Lord’s church in other lands?

It took nearly three months of planning to prepare for our summer program which ran from June through Labor Day. The adult program consisted of videos, discussions, and presentations by missionaries. We conducted a special children’s program (preschool through grade five) which included learning centers, worksheets, songs, stories, and art. Materials that were helpful with the children included Friends in Africa: A World Mission Activity Book and Visiting the Global Village. The children were given passports which were stamped or decorated with the flag of each country they studied. The children joined the adults when we hosted missionaries.

The culminating events for our children included a program and a project. The program included dressing in the native costumes of the countries, talking about the summer program, and singing songs related to Global Mission. The children’s service project included making Lutheran World Relief school kits. The women of the church sewed the school kit bag s and the children purchased the supplies and filled the kits. This project was meaningful because the children were beginning to buy their own supplies for the new school year. They learned to care for other children who do not have the necessary supplies to study.

Our adults were challenged to continue to support Global Mission. They did this through their prayers, projects, and offerings. The Global Mission Prayer Calendar and World Encounter Magazine were offered as resources. As a continuing project we are collecting the Sunday School offering each first Sunday of the month to support Global Missions. During 1991 we collected $517.66 and participated in the Missionary for a Day Program. This special offering makes our congregation aware of the need to support Global Mission on a monthly basis.

Maintaining the momentum from our Summer Sunday School Program was difficult. Continuing projects and promoting interest takes a group effort.
Resources that I found extremely helpful included Lutheran Churches in the World, Resources on Missions Available in the NC Synod Media Center, and A Speaker’s List for Global Mission in the ELCA. I needed more resources like the children’s workbook, Friends in Africa. Could you develop something similar that would cover a variety of countries, cultures, and continents? Most of my children had difficulty singing songs with foreign words. Could you develop a booklet of Global Mission songs in English for children? The resources for adults were well developed. The adults simply need encouragement, inspiration, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in responding to global needs.

The brochure, Planning a Global Mission Festival, is replete with excellent ideas. I was very impressed with the content and the attention to details. I would only suggest making it more structured to catch the attention of the person who may scan the material initially. An example would be subtitling or printing in boldface key words. On page five under “sounds” subtitles could include music, language, and environment. The part of the brochure that captured most of my attention included "Possible program activities" and "Planning the Setting for Each Country" on pages four through seven. You might want to add information about companion synods, video lending libraries, and new resources.

Your best resource is always the person who has served the Lord in Global Mission. Congregations need to be more aware of the availability of missionary speakers. Direct correspondence with missionaries on the field also provides a tangible link with the Lord’s church worldwide.

The resource persons at the Division for Global Mission were always very helpful in guiding me as I developed our congregation’s Summer Sunday School. I enjoyed and appreciated working with them. May God continue to bless and guide you in your work!

Susan Castor
Director of Christian Education and Youth

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