Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - VBS Is On The Way

And I haven't done a blasted thing about it yet. 4 days left to prepare for Vacation Bible School, and I haven't had the heart to do anything. I just have no enthusiasm left for this. Maybe it's just the prospect of having to deal with all those 1st and 2nd graders all week (18 of them at last known count - probably something more like 21 or 22 now).

Or maybe I'm having yet another of my constant religious crises. I hate cramming this stuff down kids' throats, especially since I'm not exactly comfortable myself with some of what I am supposed to be teaching.

I suppose this requires a quick primer on my beliefs. I am a Christian (duh) - baptized Catholic, raised Methodist, and now a member of the United Church of Christ. At one point in college I was an atheist, but recanted that in light of an honest-to-goodness religious experience I had (which will not be detailed here). I joined UCC primarily because it's my husband's church (and I was unchurched at the time), and because I found the community to be to my liking (it's a somewhat conservative congregation in a rather liberal faith, go figure), and, oh, yes, I'd been in the choir and handbell choir for 5 years already before I joined (chuckle).

OK, so I'm Christian. But I have some serious qualms and misgivings about certain aspects of the Christian faith (which, again, I won't go into here; it's not important to the discussion). But still...

I'm a Christian.

except...

I'm not just a Christian. I believe that almost all religions and spiritual systems (I think Buddism isn't exactly a religion...) have something to teach us, and that most religions are mostly right. Not the details per se, but the overarching themes, such as the love of nature and respect for our fellow humans. I suppose if I really had to spell it all out I'd would come off as pagan. Nothing wrong with that - I spent a good block of time devouring readings on new-age paganism, and found it to be in general very sensible and very much in accordance with my own beliefs. Now some of the worshippers of those pagan beliefs (and I am not trying to insult my dear readers - I know some of their inclinations) tend to be all about the ceremony, and the mystery, and the "I'm a pagan, I'm so fascinating and so different from everyone else" and not about the substance - but this is no different than the worshippers of other religions, so I don't even know why I'm going on about it.

Anyway, I guess the point is that I am supposed to be selling the Truth of the Bible to these kids. And since I don't really buy into it myself, it's a little distasteful. Ah, well, the parents wouldn't be sending their kids to Vacation Bible School if they were against Christianity.

3 Comments:

Blogger wendy said...

During my teens years I was roped into helping out at VBS in my family church. Having been in my own crisis of faith for years and years, I was extremely uncomfortable teaching kids something I wasn't sure I really believed in. I got around it the next year by volunteering to teach the craft class. That was fun and didn't involve anything religious.

Even though I haven't been to any church in years, it was that summer teaching crafts that has finally steered me towards school with the goal of teaching art.

8/12/2004 10:21 AM  
Blogger wendy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/12/2004 10:21 AM  
Blogger Desiree' said...

Being Wiccan myself, I can respect all that you said and all that feel. The only solace I can offer to you are these two things...
1) You are correct in stating that the parents have sent their children to this function, and that you are, to the best of your abilities, helping them gain knowledge about their faith.
2)No matter the journey you choose to take in life, we all end up in the same place. For some reason, that you may or may not be aware of, your path has placed you where you are right now, and it is exactly where you are meant to be. Might not make sense now, but eventually, it will.

Blessings to you and enjoy the time. Teaching children, no matter what the subject, is always a wonderful thing.

8/12/2004 12:21 PM  

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