by Paula Velez
This past year of pandemic upheaval has also been an opportunity for me to pause and reflect on what is most needed for our children’s ministry. The Lord brought to my attention the ministry of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) and I’ve become convinced that this approach would be a very good fit for the families of both our English and Spanish speaking congregations. When everything started shutting down last spring and there was a huge push to make all things virtual, I started to ask myself if going virtual was what our children needed. I questioned the wisdom of making everything virtual, especially for our youngest members who developmentally are best able to engage relationally and concretely. Even as I looked at the needs of my older children, I realized we are ALL being inundated with information and technology and have to work much harder at slowing down, creating space, and simply being present in the moment. So, I began to research ways that we could bridge the virtual-sacramental gap for children and their families. Because of this I started looking for other options and found myself looking again at Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. I had looked at CGS in the past when others had brought it to my attention (Jeanine Werner, Beth Conkle), but each time it just didn’t seem to be possible.
I have been involved in children’s ministry as a leader, teacher and parent for over 30 years. In more recent years as I have tried to find resources and materials to fit the needs of our children, I have noticed a few things about Sunday School curricula and materials: