Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Testimonies from Sunday School Students   1 comment

Students from the Christian Science Sunday School in Canberra share ways they have resolved physical problems through prayer:

Lessons on the Netball Court

I play netball for a local team.  During a recent game I was playing down at the defense end.  At one point in the game I caught the ball.  The opposition player was also running for the ball and she didn’t stop in time.  She fell hard into my knee which twisted inwards.  It really hurt.  However, I kept going because I knew if I went off, we wouldn’t have a replacement for me.  I was in quite a bit of pain so I held to the truth, that I had learned in Sunday School, that I was spiritual and therefore couldn’t be hurt.  I relaxed when I held to this idea. Quickly the pain left and I played the rest of the game without any problems.  This shows how instant God’s love is.

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Stomach Ache Gone

Last weekend I had to play in a soccer game.  Part way through the game I got a really bad stomach ache.  In Sunday School I’ve learned to watch my thinking, so I thought to myself that there is no such thing as pain because God is by my side forever and always and He made me perfect.  So, I just kept playing.  The pain went away straight away and I played really well.

After the soccer game I went to my friend’s house and then the pain started again.  I thought of reasons why I might have a pain but I knew God didn’t make pain so there was no reason for it.  I sat quietly and prayed again.  That was the end of the pain.

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Praying for My Baby Sister

I am only 3 years old, so my mum and aunty are helping me to write my story.

I have been Skyping into Sunday School for a few weeks now.  My teacher has been teaching me that God is Love and that God always keeps us safe.  She is also teaching me some fun songs like the Circle of Love.  My favourite game is the one where we say, ‘No’ to bad thoughts and ‘Yes’ to good thoughts.  I use this at home now when I am tempted to be naughty.

The other day I was in the car with my little sister and my mum.  My sister started to cry really loudly.  She had a sore tummy and she wanted Mummy, but Mummy was driving so I leaned over and held her hand.  I told her that she was safe because God loved her.  My Sunday School teacher taught me that God loves everyone and keeps them safe.  Straight away she stopped crying and was happy.

Now I use what my teacher is teaching me whenever my sister is crying.  Sometimes I skip around her singing the Circle of Love song and sometimes I hold her hand and sing the Meghan song that my teacher taught me.  It goes like this:

Hello Meghan, Hello Meghan

Who are you?  Who are you?

You are God’s reflection

Showing His perfection.

God loves you, God loves you.

When I do these things she always stops crying.  This is how I know that God loves us.  I love learning about God in Sunday School.

A Letter in Support of Sunday School   Leave a comment

This is a letter from a remote member of our Canberra church community. All services and testimony meetings are available via phone for those who cannot attend in person. Sunday School classes are also available via Skype for all age groups.

I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to the Christian Science church in Canberra for their Sunday School.  I grew up with Christian Science, attending Sunday School for most of my childhood.  It taught me the power and omnipotence of God.  Sunday School taught me the basics:  how to pray; how to be brave; how to be grateful.  It also taught me the reliability of God’s love, where no matter the situation we are always protected, we are always loved and we are always cared for.  I have had countless healings from these fundamental truths and I want my children to be bought up with healing, and with God being a normal part of life. 

We live in a small town in Tasmania where there is no Christian Science Church or Sunday School.  When my eldest daughter was three I started praying about this as I wanted her to go to Sunday School but wasn’t sure if I should teach her or if there were other options.  I spoke to my aunt, who is a member of the Christian Science Church in Canberra, about this, and she came up with the perfect solution … Skype Sunday School.

The teacher on the pre-school class is the blessing we sought.  She is a confident, loving teacher who pitches stories at the girls (my 2yro is also now a weekly attendee) in an age appropriate, enthusiastic way.  She mixes Bible stories and songs that maintain their attention all the way from Tasmania!  I have never had a Sunday morning where either of them has not willingly ‘gone to Sunday School’.  We Skype from their bedroom, which they tidy up every Sunday morning so their teacher will be proud of them.  The girls’ favourite song from Sunday School has always been The Silly Man and the Wise Man song.  They sing it so often at daycare that the other children can now sing it too.

The girls’ teacher has been teaching the girls how to pray:  have no fear, God loves me, be grateful for all your blessings, (and their favourite part) jump for joy!  And she’s been demonstrating this through wonderful Bible stories and analogies.  The constant reinforcement of God’s love is cutting through some of the fairly scary messages they are bombarded with from the news and other children.  Colds and general childcare diseases rarely touch our household (or the daycare for that matter) and when occasionally the ideas present, they are met with prayer and chant of, ‘Error, error go away’.  And it does. This was beautifully highlighted last year with the bush fires that were raging around NSW.  My mum, dad and sister live near Nowra and had a very large blaze running straight at them.  My sister had ash falling on her house and Mum and Dad who live at the top of a beautiful but heavily forested mountain were packing up ready to evacuate.  I spoke to the girls and asked them to pray for Nanna and Grampy.  Neither of the girls was scared (and they both know what fire is like as their Dad is on a forestry brigade), both took the job of praying very seriously and the older girl told me in unequivocal terms, ‘There’s no spot where God is not’.  We kept in contact with Nanna and Auntie K for most of the evening, but within 30 mins of us all starting to pray the fire quietened down and the danger passed.  The girls don’t think of this as anything miraculous or wonderful it was just what they expected.  This is what the world needs … prayer to be normal, prayers to be answered and to be unimpressed by challenges whatever form they take.

I cannot thank Canberra church enough for the effort they put into my girls.  It is standing them on firm ground and teaching them lessons that will influence and guide them for the rest of their lives.  As parents our job is to give the world useful, compassionate little people that will bless the space around them.  One of the best ways to do this is to send our children to Sunday School.  Thank you for the logistical support and for the smiles every Sunday.  Thank you for teaching them the good stuff and putting up with the wriggles.  The girls love going to Sunday School.

Classes with a Difference   Leave a comment

shutterstock_105508592Children today are growing up in a vastly different world to the one their parents experienced. The fast pace of technological change, the lure of social media, the prevalence of alcohol, the easy availability of drugs and even the sensational reporting of world events all put pressures on our youth. Today more than ever our young people need to have a strong moral compass to help them make wise decisions, and an inner resilience that helps them meet life’s challenges and rise above adversity. Hara Estroff Marano, Editor-at-Large for Psychology Today, wrote in her article “The Art of Resilience”: “At the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself—yet also a belief in something larger than oneself. Resilient people do not let adversity define them. They find resilience by moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief …” So how do we fortify our children and develop in them an understanding of their innate ability to rise above adversity?

At the Christian Science Sunday School we do just that. In small groups with a teacher, students discuss the qualities that make life work. Lessons are based around the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus including the Lord’s Prayer. Students discuss the issues that come up in their own lives in light of these invaluable moral guides.

Classes for students from pre-school up to age 20 are held every Sunday at 10.00 am. Babies are cared for in the creche. New students are always welcome. The Sunday School is located with the Christian Science Church at the corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets in Barton.

Have More Patience! It’s Good for Your Health   Leave a comment

beverlys-picAt this time of year, life can be very hectic. Holidays are over. It’s back-to-school and back-to-work time for many families. Teachers are making preparations. Parents are working hard to establish a smooth daily routine that enables them to get their children up and out-the-door on time. Such an undertaking can be a challenge! As one father said, “Getting kids ready for school each day would test the patience of a Saint”. What’s the answer? Have MORE patience. It’s good for your health.

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HAVE MORE PATIENCE

Teachers, parents, and child-minding grandparents, often need truckloads of patience. Why? Because this relationship-smoothing, health-giving quality of thought produces well-balanced, harmonious, daily activity. It fosters calmness, and enables us to be tolerant of delays or problems, without becoming angry or upset. Patience is so valuable and needed these days that it’s considered to be a virtue – a character trait that’s not only morally good, but very desirable in every person.

TIPS

– Overcome frustrating family situations with patience. Stay calm. Don’t let anyone or anything upset you.

– Master the art of patience. Embrace it more fully. Patience helps build emotional and spiritual maturity. It produces a better balanced mental state and attitude to family life. It enables you to move through stressful times with grace and poise.

– Have patience with learning, and with learners. Be prepared to teach kids what they have to do as part of the daily routine. Establish a logical order for the day ahead. In time you’ll build helpful attitudes and practices, and achieve a smooth running household.

– In dealing with a difficult, or grumpy family member, resist the impulse to react. Stay calm-and-collected. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” Bible James 1:19

– Remind yourself that you have an abundance of self-control. You have patience. You’ve been created a cool, composed, unruffled person. You have equanimity – evenness of mind. You’re mentally balanced.

– If confronted with willfulness or disobedience, take a deep breath. Stay loving. A loving attitude helps you stay patient, calm. It helps you keep an emotional balance. Love “…is not easily provoked”. Bible 1 Corinthians 13:5

– Remember what’s most needed from all of us – parents, children and teachers, is “… growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.” – Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health p.4

– Be calm. Resolve delays or problems without becoming angry or upset. Be proactive. Have MORE patience. You’ll find it’s good for your health.

This article was contributed by Beverly Goldsmith who is a former secondary school teacher and is now a health blogger and a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science healing.

A Normal Pregnancy   Leave a comment

10999095_10203698134286147_529720653179037855_n[1]We have recently had a beautiful baby girl. Our whole pregnancy and birth was summed up by one of the midwives as being ‘refreshingly normal’; nothing unexpected, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing unpredicted just easy and simple and normal.

I was bought up in Christian Science. It is normal for me to pray whenever I feel scared, hurt or whelmed by a situation and having a baby definitely fell into the overwhelming category. I have never been maternal and have never really thought seriously about being a parent, but my husband was ready and if there was ever anyone I wanted to have a baby with, it’s him. So I started praying to know that Life isn’t a product of mortal interaction. Life is a synonym of God. Life is from God and as such I don’t have the power to do a bad job of parenting.

I can’t say I was completely comfortable yet with the idea of being parental, but the terror the idea initially filled me with had receded. When we found out we were pregnant the last residual fears left me. I’m deeply fortunate that my mum is a Christian Science Practitioner. Through prayer she helped shield me from all the insidious fears that try and bombard pregnant women; she reminded me constantly that my little baby was a reflection of God, a perfectly developed, complete reflection of Life and Love. I could suffer no ill effects from such a blessing – and the pregnancy was a blessing. All symptoms of morning sickness ceased almost as soon as they started, I didn’t feel exhausted, I wasn’t moody or emotional; at all my checkups the midwives found me and my baby to be healthy and growing at the perfect rate. I was fit enough to keep working, right up until the office closed for Christmas (I was due in early January), and my hair was extra shiny!

I was often told by friends how lucky I’d been with my pregnancy. It’s not lucky, it’s normal. It is normal to be happy, to be healthy, it’s normal to be blessed every day by God’s Love.

By the time I was 8 months pregnant my fears of being a bad mother, of being unable to raise my child well had dissipated. God is Father Mother, not me and my husband. The only fears that remained were my waters breaking in the supermarket and the pain of labour (and having to do it with no pants on). So I kept praying about these too. I found at the root of these seemingly superficial fears I was afraid of losing my dignity; that I would be overwhelmed by the physical process of giving birth. I reasoned that if my baby was a perfect reflection of God’s Love and Life, then so was I. After caring for me so long God would not abandon me at the final hurdle.

Labour was short, uncomplicated and I did not forgot my please and thank-yous once! My waters broke at the hospital (not at the supermarket) and I kept my pants on right until the end, and then I didn’t really care. Our little girl is perfect.

I’ve kept praying about what is normal since we came home too.  Normal is peaceful, harmonious, and joyous. It is not distress, sleepless nights, or the baby blues. In those first few days where doctors and nurses tell you to expect exhaustion, unsettledness and hormonal tidal waves, I prayed fiercely, I would not accept these predictions of disharmony.  The first few nights we were home I read the Mothers Evening Prayer by Mary Baker Eddy (from the Christian Science Hymnal 207), the second verse resonated strongly:

Love is our refuge; only with mine eye / Can I behold the snare, the pit, the fall: / His habitation high is here, and nigh, / His arm encircles me, and mine and all.”

I read this over and over until I felt calm, and the fear of having a newborn subsided.

Our child has, from the start, been a good sleeper. Neither my husband nor I have suffered sleepless nights and she is a happy, tolerant, calm, peaceful baby. None of the scary predictions have lingered, because divine Love is omnipotent, a Father Mother’s Love could never allow their child to suffer distress or pain, and hasn’t.

Our home is a happy one, and we are so grateful for having Jacqueline come into it.

This article was shared by Alex Tabor who lives in Tasmania, Australia.

Classes with Care   Leave a comment

shutterstock_81539152One Saturday morning I was standing in the foyer of a young peoples’ theatre. Students were gathering for their weekly drama lesson. A teacher who had been away the previous several lessons arrived. I watched as one by one children sidled over to her.
“I did my piano exam,” one told her.
“I’ve auditioned for an arts program.”
“I lost my tooth.”
Their teacher embraced each with a comment, or smile, or hug – an affirmation of value. Children know when teachers or coaches care for them and they shine under this attention. Apart from the instruction in drama, football, or swimming, this is also of real value.

As kids become adolescents they enjoy finding people that care for them enough to verbally spar with them, let them exercise their wit, reason and questioning of the world. They want teachers, coaches, friends and neighbours to care enough not to always agree with them as they develop their own unique identities. Finding a variety of situations where this can safely happen can be a challenge.

In the Christian Science Sunday School time is given for the fostering of caring respectful relationships. Grouped around similar ages up to 20, a teacher or facilitator typically stays for two to three years. Relevant ideas from unique thinkers in the Bible and the book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, prompt discussion.

Along with a pre-teen group, I was part of an exploration of an idea from this book: ‘The divine Mind maintains all identities, from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal.’ There were no right or wrong answers. It included a discovery of our spiritual identity, our pets and the local water-ways!
This group grew in confidence at school and in extra-curricular activities. They uncovered something about their spiritual identity. As part of the group I learned about soccer umpiring, teenage movies, pokemon and mine-craft. Our regular one-hour a week together was a cheerful win-win all round!

In Canberra the Christian Science Sunday School operates every Sunday 10.00 – 11.00 am. It is located at the corner of Macquarie and Bligh Street in Barton. Visitors and new pupils up to the age of 20 are warmly welcomed. Instruction in classes is based on the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer.

Children Develop Spirituality   Leave a comment

shutterstock_123166411A research on Google reveals a multitude of studies that make links between student academic success and the development of spirituality in a religious context.

Studies have found those with gratitude are more likely to have a high grade point average.”

Children who are encouraged to know their spiritual identity find a valuable poise reflected in both academic and secular activities.  In general, students are found to be more successful, resilient and happy.

There have also been studies by psychologists and sociologists on gratitude.  According to the Christian Science Monitor, if you’re grateful, you are more likely to be happy.

It stated that grateful people are more helpful, more satisfied with life and have better friendships.  It said studies have found those with gratitude are more likely to have a higher grade point average.  They tend to be healthier both physically and mentally.

At the Christian Science Sunday School, gratitude for good is fostered along with deep reflection on the nature of God as a law of eternal truth, as well as an all-encompassing divine love.

The Sunday School operates around small discussion groups with students, up to the age of 20, who are encouraged to discover and demonstrate more of their spiritual self as described in the Bible.

Choosing a religious educational context for children is important. It can encourage the life of the child and the community. To find out more about the Christians Science Sunday School in Canberra visit the Christian Science Canberra website.

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