September 2, 2008

Rockland Parishioners to Mentor Children

ROCKLAND - Seasoned members of the Rockland Congregational Church, 180 Limerock St., will serve as mentors in the Spirit Rock Children's Program beginning Sunday, Sept. 7.

"This is a very exciting development for the Sunday school," Carole Hallundbaek, minister of education, said. "We have been searching for a way to bridge the divide between the kids [ages 4 through 12] and the mature members of the church, who have a wealth of knowledge and life experience to share but who may not want to teach a regular session - usually out of shyness. Mentoring the Sunday school offers a unique and invaluable opportunity."

The church will use the "rotation" model of Sunday school education, which explores one scripture story or spiritual concept per month. Each week, through kid-friendly creative workshops including art, drama, music, games, cooking and cinema, the children will experience the story in a hands-on manner, inviting versatility, imagination and repetition.

"Mentors fit right into the rotation model," Hallundbaek said. "Each month we will ask someone to speak to the specific theme we're exploring."

Spirit Rock this year will focus on the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, she said. A mentor will be invited to share a story from his or her own life - when they had to act as a peacemaker, mourn or be merciful.

"This helps to put real flesh and blood on the spiritual principles," Hallundbaek said. "The kids love to hear stories from elders, funny or sad, about family, friends, work, war, challenges, whatever may be on their minds. They get it. And they will come to know the people they see every week on a much more meaningful level."

For more information, call 594-8656 or visit the church Web site at

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