First Presbyterian’s Disciple-Ship
By Ann Blankenship
For the Salisbury Post
Although First Presbyterian Church’s Workshop Rotation Model Sunday School (WRMSS) is already up and running, the Christian Education Committee, Church School Council, children and teachers will host an open house in the recently completed renovated space Sunday, from 10:30-11 a.m., and from noon-12:30 p.m., on the second floor of the Educational Building.
On Feb. 3, a large group of young disciples, grades 1-5, along with their teachers, parents and many other visitors launched the DISCIPLE-SHIP. The children have been very excited about their new Sunday School space and have been looking forward to the four workshops (classes) they attend each month to learn a new Bible story. The energy level each Sunday morning is incredible!
The program that began that Sunday morning in February is a method of teaching through creative media-inspired, kid-pleasing workshops that teach Bible stories. These workshops can include art, drama, audiovisuals, computers, Bible games, puppets, cooking, music and more. Children are divided into age-appropriate groups and rotate through these workshops every week for four to six weeks. During this period, one Bible story is taught creatively in each workshop. At the end of each rotation period, another Bible story is introduced and the rotation begins again.
The version of WRMSS at First Presbyterian Church includes five interesting and fun-filled workshops. The Creator’s Gallery is the art room, complete with an inspiring mural of the creation. Seaside Cinema is the movie room, with auditorium seats and popcorn every Sunday. Crow’s Nest is the drama room, with a moveable stage, numerous costumes and props for acting out the Bible story. Game Plank is the game room, with a beautiful Noah’s Ark mural. The Navigation Nave is where the children gather each Sunday morning before moving to their designated workshop for that morning. The children learn Bible stories through hands on activities, art projects, videos, skits and games.
Since everyone learns in different ways, the workshops aid the child to learn the story the way that he or she learns best. The Sunday school teachers, who sign up for four weeks, do not have to be a “jacks of all trades,” but are able to teach to their strength.
The DISCIPLE-SHIP theme has its grounding in ancient symbols and scripture. The ship has been a symbol for the Church since ancient times. The cross made by the sail is a symbol of Jesus. A sail gives a ship power to move through the waters. Jesus gives the church power to love God and serve others. The two scripture texts that have been the focus for the DISCIPLE-SHIP are the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 29: 19) and Matthew 4:19: “And He (Jesus) said to them (His disciples), “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.”
It is the intention that the DISCIPLE-SHIP will nurture children in their faith journey and prepare and encourage young disciples to grow in faith and participate fully in the life and ministry of the church community.