Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hometown Memories: Sunday School

I grew up in a Christian home, and going to Sunday school when I was quite young was part of my upbringing. Religion was very important to my mother, and she was determined to instill that strong faith in us and raise godly children.

Sunday school was taught by volunteers with no training in education, but who were well-meaning, and very committed to their faith. As a young child, I really enjoyed these classes. The bible stories were interesting, and the arts and crafts we did were a lot of fun.

Sunday school was held in classrooms in this elementary school.

Everything I learned in Sunday school was reinforced at home, and in my early years I happily walked the path my parents placed me on. But when I became a teenager, I started questioning everything I’d been taught, and concluded that I was going to decide what my views about God and religion were going to be. As such, I set off on a journey of spiritual exploration that lasted for many years, and it wasn't until my early thirties that I formulated my own belief system, based on everything I’d researched during that period, that continues to evolve as I get older.

The front entrance of the building. We went in from the schoolyard in the back, but I didn't get a photo of it.

But despite how far away my personal spiritual journey has taken me from the religious teachings of my childhood, I have fond memories of Sunday school that I cherish.

Did you attend Sunday school, or something similar to that?

30 comments:

  1. Hey Martha. Thanks for sharing this with us. I like reading about you. And seeing the pictures. Did you know it's already Thursday? I did not. I thought it Wednesday but that I had to check to make sure that it wasn't Tuesday. Oy.

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    1. I felt the same way earlier this week, and today. I think the holiday weekend contributed to that confusion. When I got up this morning I had to actually check to see if it was really Friday. I wasn't sure for a moment!

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  2. I try to go to Catholic church at least once a month. But it is more out of habit and upbringing.

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  3. I went to a moderate Methodist church as a child which thankfully wasn't too doom and gloom like other branches. But even then I questioned a lot of what I heard.

    But when I reached middle school age, sunday school turned into a hangout room where we played pool and ping pong. I left the church before I made it to high school. I didn't mind sunday school (especially since it was mostly pool and table tennis), but the sermons were so boring.

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    1. I think many of us question what we've learned as we get older. It's perfectly normal, and sometimes necessary.

      Sunday school with a pool and ping pong? That is pretty neat!

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  4. I absolutely loved Sunday School when I was a kid! I started at age 5 (United Church of Canada). I attended until I was 12 and then I rebelled with all the self-righteous indignation that only an adolescent can muster, LOL!

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    1. Hahaha...and I can picture you doing that, Debra!

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  5. I was raised Catholic and we had our religious education (we called it CCD) on Wednesday nights. Not sure why we didn't do it on Sunday. Thanks for sharing your memories.

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    1. I'm sure there was a good reason for that. Thanks for stopping by Linda.

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  6. nope, Catholic as I were,I studied spirituality too long to know that it doesn't matter. All that matters all that has ever matters 'til the forever before is still the same today :LOVE, heaven is a place of Love....that's why it has so many different levels of consciousness... never attended Sunday School, though for some children it could have given many benefits that they couldn't get from home...and Look at you, how you turned out so wonderful....must have done you some good lol

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    1. Hahahaha...I suppose it did do me some good!

      You got it, Lorraine. It's all about love no matter what you choose to believe.

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  7. It's wonderful that you have those memories of Sunday school that you cherish.
    I always so enjoy getting to know more about you, Martha.
    I was raised catholic and still say a lot of the prayers I learned growing up.
    My husband is Jewish and I feel more Jewish than catholic these days as we went to synagogue for many years.
    I have not been to church in a while but when I do go I feel a sense of peace.

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    1. I feel a sense of peace there, too, although I don't attend regularly. I actually prefer to go to a church that's empty where I can just be alone with my thoughts. But then I do that a lot in nature settings. I feel a spiritual connection with our universe when I'm outdoors in quiet settings.

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  8. I did attend Sunday school for a short time but it scared me. It was held in a church and the building was huge with lots of hallways that went in all different directions. I got lost once and it was very frightening.

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  9. I remember Sunday school well, and in my later years I taught it for a short while. I have great memories of those days, and I can see that you do as well.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. I do have great memories. Most of the kids I knew went, and we had fun.

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  10. It is very coincidental that I read your post today. A couple of weeks ago, I came across an old art/craft mobile that I made in Sunday School close to 40 years ago! I'm going to be attending my childhood church this weekend as they celebrate their 60th Anniversary. I think it is very healthy for us to question and make our beliefs our own. I think that is what a living spirituality is. Thanks for the post today, Martha!

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    1. I agree completely, Cathy. Questioning things we've been taught is very healthy, and finding our own way is vital.

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  11. This is a thoughtful post Martha and those 'classes' brought you here in a way....all part of the journey.
    I attended Catholic schools in a public school system ( no longer that way). We had religion class every morning from 8:30 till 9 o'clock from primary to grade 12. I learned a lot and really enjoyed it until I was in high school when, like yourself, I started to question it all and how it would/could apply to me. But I have come to learn and appreciate that 'the basics' (of most religions) were good to learn and use throughout life. In university (Jesuits) I was encouraged to question....I have not looked back.

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    1. I'm with you completely on that, Jim! The basics of most religions/beliefs have something good to offer. On my journey, I think I adopted a little of this and a little of that, which helped me form my own spirituality. I am a huge fan of Buddhism, by the way.

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  12. I went to Sunday school and I will never forget the singing. I am far away from that today. Life takes you on a long journey.

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    1. Life certainly does take you on a long journey. And it can be quite an experience.

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  13. Of course I attended Sunday School - my mother was a teacher there! Never regretted it either.

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    1. Well that would certainly do it if your mother was a teacher there!

      I've never regretted either. There are always lessons learned in every experience.

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  14. This post is profound in many ways! I never knew the concept of Sunday-School before.

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    1. Nice to see you here, Chirasree. And you've learned something new :)

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  15. I did attend Sunday School as a young boy but I can barely remember it.

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    1. Perhaps you were just too young. My memories of it are vague, but I do remember attending.

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