Bible Presentation to 2nd Graders...
Parents of rising third graders should not be surprised if the NRSV Children’s Bible shows up on their child’s summer reading list. This spring, 22 Bibles were prepared for our congregation’s second graders. Most of these personalized Bibles were distributed during worship on Sunday, June 5, along colorful worship bags the students can bring with them to church.
According to Pastor John, the Bible presentation is a special occasion marking the students’ graduation from children’s church. “I hope it gives them a sense of connection to the church, a sense of belonging, a sense of being part of a loving community.” He says parents are sometimes surprised that their children don’t necessarily need encouragement; they are often anxious to open their new Bibles. “I see many kids who bring them in their worship bags and pull them out during the service. Of course, we hope they will continue reading their Bible even after the newness wears off.”
Summer is an ideal time to introduce children to their new Bibles and build family bonds in the process. Pastor John says choosing one book of the Bible to read as a family can be an enriching experience, as well as sharing Bible verses at dinnertime. Nancy Ruh, Director of Christian Education, suggests looking at the list of major stories offered in the front of the Bible and reading them together this summer. This can help students gain understanding of what they hear in church. “We share these stories during Sunday School and in worship,” she says. It’s wonderful for the children to realize we don’t just make them up – they come from the Bible.”
The New Revised Standard Children’s Bible is a good fit for second graders who are now reading independently, Nancy explains. “They can open the Bible and read on their own and it’s not too complex or intimidating for them. And the colorful pictures and maps engage them on many different levels,” she adds.
Each second grader also received a worship bag that included book markers, laminated, large-print versions of the Apostles Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, crayons and other items designed to help engage them in worship. “The worship bag helps kids feel more welcome at church. We know they can process on more than one level. So while they are doodling or looking at the items in the bag, they’re keeping their hands busy but their ears and minds open,” Nancy says. Attached to the bag is a laminated list of tips for making worship meaningful for children. Designed as a parenting tool, it can help ease students into the worship experience.
Meanwhile, our students are easing into their summer routine with some new reading material. And their parents couldn’t be happier. “It was wonderful to see the smiles on the faces of the children as they received their Bibles. It was a proud moment for Gretchen and for us,” says Gretchen’s father, Dietrich Maune. “She began reading her new Bible as soon as she returned to her seat. It is a gift she will remember and cherish for years to come.”