by Stephanie Aude
Right off, my apologies for misleading you. I do not have a tantalizing, Buzzfeed-style listicle to guide you through this important idea of mine—but stay with me. Sunday School for 7th and 8th graders is no easy feat (for parents to pull off) but it’s important. My own eighth grader would empty the dishwasher and mow the lawn to be left home alone on a Sunday morning. And sometimes, that’s just what we do – to keep the peace and to cash in on getting some chores done! At the same time, he has told me many times that Sunday School was genuinely fun.
Seventh and Eighth grade Sunday School doesn’t follow a curriculum in the same way the younger classes do. We definitely read, navigate and research the Bible with reverence, but we also watch some great independent film shorts (with popcorn!) we hike (with cider and donuts!) we volunteer, and we play board games. Together with my co-teacher Fabiana Murphy, we try to create an environment with as much room for snark and skepticism as there is for fellowship and learning. I really believe that 7th and 8th grade Sunday School can be a fun and reassuring bridge to the joining in the older teen faith formation experiences at South Church like Confirmation, Mission trip and High School Youth Group.
One of my favorite things about South Church is that there are never any per-requisites for anything. Even if your kids never came to Sunday School before, or even if they don’t make it to Middle School Youth Group on Wednesdays, Sunday mornings are a time for young adult fellowship at South Church in the 7th/8th grade Sunday School Classroom. As Jen always says, “Just come.”
I won’t blather on, but I will share with you two film shorts we’ve watched in our Sunday School class. We try to pick stuff that’s weirdly relevant to contemporary Christian life for our teens. Below are two shocking films they loved discussing last year. We hope you’ll encourage your kids to come to our Sunday School!