Judy Lantz Talks About Her Call to Seekers Children

The 1st Sunday in Lent

March 6, 2022

Greetings Seekers community,

This morning I open with a quote from of our Call statement which states “Seekers Church is committed to participation by persons of all ages.  We see children, youth & adults of all ages as valuable & valued parts of our community, and desire their inclusion in our care, our ministry, and our life together”.  (Revised May 1991)

Many of us follow Howard Thurman, a professor of spiritual resources and mystic.  A quote of his in Gil Bailie’s book Violence Unveiled” really speaks to me –

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

I joined Seekers in 2006 and became a Steward in 2014.  While attending the meeting each month, I heard about issues with Sunday School that needed addressed.  Not a teacher myself, I decided that administration is where I could help.  So, I joined the Children’s Team.  Larry, Michele, Will and others have served on this committee over time.  I’ve belonged for about 8 years now.  It’s Brenda Seat, Dave Lloyd and me at the present.

Before COVID, we had 3 classrooms for the various age groups.  Each week, I engaged a teacher for each group.  On Sunday I looked in on the needs of each class during worship upstairs.

When COVID first closed our Sunday services, I took bibles from the Noah’s Arc room and delivered them to all the children at home.  That’s where it sat until this past October 2021.

As Halloween approached, a question came to me.  Other than costumes and candy treats, did our Seeker’s Kids know why we celebrate Halloween?  Are they aware of the Christian celebration of All Saints Day on November 1? 

I talked with Michele about it.  Together we decided to use her Zoom account and invite them to meet on Sunday, October 31 at noon to talk about Halloween.  They were invited to wear their costumes for a Show & Tell after introductions.  This got them engaged right away.  Then I asked them:

  • Why do we have Halloween?
  • Why does it have a spooky, ghostly atmosphere we know & love today?  (Hint – its something to do with the afterlife.)
  • Why Trick or Treat?

We had a fine time together.  When I asked if they wanted to meet again, they agreed.  Thus, it’s been going on every week since then.  4 months!

This has turned into a real calling for me.  As a child, I attended 12 years of Catholic school.  I don’t think we had a Bible in the house.  Catechisms were used to teach religious thought.  I was unaware of the Bible except to hear the Gospel & Epistle read by the priest at Mass on Sunday.  Until recent years, I never developed a personal relationship with God.  It was all rules & regulations.  Even as a Presbyterian in my middle years, there was no inner work discussed.

Now each Wednesday I decide the topic of Sunday’s lesson. 

Where, in the church year, are we in the life of Jesus?  As a Jew, how did he use the Old Testament to fulfill his message?

Inspiration arrives by Friday!  I’m ready to put pencil to paper and write the lesson in detail.  I print several pictures to illustrate the story for Sunday.  I locate and send a picture for the kids to color according to the subject.

Before the weekend, I write to our parents.  They are asked to print the coloring picture and introduce questions I will ask.

On Sunday we greet, then start by my lighting a candle to remind us that God is always with us.  I read an opening prayer.  The children conclude with an “Amen”.  We review last week’s lesson.  Then I introduce the new one, complete with the pictures.  We conclude with a closing prayer and goodbyes.  Candle out.

Engaging kids on Zoom is not easy.  During our lesson, I ask for one of them to read from their Bible and to show the picture they have colored.  They hesitate to look/recall their feelings and actions during the week.  This relates to the questions I ask.  I want them to learn how to work with God’s ways instead of the world’s ways.  Slowly this is starting to work better. 

Conclusion –

Right now, our Sunday School class ranges from ages 5 – 17 yrs. old.  We have Jackie’s Eli who is 5, Jonah is 6, Zanna is 8, Elijah is 10, Arnold is 12 and Ozy is 17.  Dylan is almost 2.  He waves “hi” on Zoom.

Soon I plan to introduce a Bible Treasure Hunt with our older students by mail.  They will use an NIV Children’s Bible to search the O. T. and N. T. chapters to answer themed questions i.e. Bible Animals, Bible Heroes, Bible Children, etc.  This way, they will learn the chapters and verses of the entire Bible. 

Also, soon we will be meeting back at Seekers on Sundays.  The Children’s Team will be meeting to plan for that.  It will open a new chapter for me as I navigate travel between Silver Spring and the Eastern Shore every two weeks.

For now, my hope is that our Seeker’s congregation will:

  1. Pray for me, the Children’s Team and our children.
  2. Consider teaching Sunday School when we go back.
  3. Bring a new child to join us.  We are few and would welcome newcomers to learn to know God’s ways with us.

May it be so.


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