The Anglican Church of Canada

Sunday School Teachers Planning Meeting

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Try to gather Sunday school teachers in June. Offer them this suggested outline for a basic planning meeting. This meeting will be efficient if everyone has a copy of the agenda one week or more in advance. Any meeting goes better with food. Fruit has the special ability of being easy to bring and of helping make thoughts lively!

The meeting should last about 1 hour 40 minutes—important to know for parents who may employ childcare in order to be there. You may also decide to make the meeting “family friendly” and have an engaging activity for the children to do while you meet. Decide on a time for a break.

1. Welcome and thanks to each person present. 30 secs

2. Find out how long each person can spend at this meeting. Set a firm closing time based on what you hear.  30 secs

3. Say a prayer. 2 mins

4. Read the gospel, Luke 18:15–17 3 mins

5. Go around the room and find out why each person is here. What is the one thing that they really want to see get done?    3 mins

6. Add any hopes and wishes to the end of this list. 2 mins

7. Present the Key Calendar, the total plan for the year. Consider the plan for each month. 5 mins

8. Present the volunteer needs and how they can be shared. 10 mins

If you have more than one teacher, consider:

a. Does each teacher want to take on more than one month? If you are lucky enough to have four teachers, then each teacher need only take on 2-1/2 months. That is a reasonable commitment. If you have two teachers, each would take on five months.

b. Does each teacher want to take on one day a month? This can be a great alternative, especially if any teachers are particularly interested in one of the monthly activities (for instance, Music Sunday) and want to focus on that.

c. Remember, Children’s Gift Sunday once a month means that all Sunday school teachers can monitor the children together and hear the sermon!

9. Write who will be taking which Sunday on the Key Calendar. 5 mins

10. Discuss what needs to happen in the event a teacher is sick. 5 mins

11. Discuss how you can support each other to ensure that each teacher has “spiritual support,” especially during the months they are teaching. 10 mins

a. Would the group like to have monthly dinners together?

b. What if the monthly dinner was prepared one afternoon at the church and then everyone took home the prepared dinners? St. Stephen’s in Saskatoon has found this to be a great way of getting parents together.

12. Look through the What You Need section. Agree on a method of gathering each item. Agree on a place to store items.   10 mins

a. Consider putting out a call in the church bulletin for gathering the What You Need items. Know that you may have to announce a cut-off date for when you have enough items.

13. If you are going to take on Children’s Gift Sunday, extra organization will be required. It’s worth it! 15 mins

a. If you want to do this but aren’t sure how welcomed the children will be, talk to clergy if you haven’t already. Make sure that the children can see the blessing of the bread up close!

b. Consider a good team for the children to start working with—often this is the Welcoming Team. Perhaps starting off a Children’s Gift Sunday means that you start with one task, with the help of the Welcoming Team. Decide how you are going to let families know what their tasks are. Refer to Children’s Gift Sunday planning documents. Set a date for approaching other team leaders to expand the children’s involvement when the time is right.

c. Consider what you will do if there are any complaints about children’s noise in church. Sometimes simply having a place for written feedback is enough.  Know that it will take a few Sundays for children to get used to being quiet in church. Inclusion is a journey.

d. Many groups of healthy children include one toddler who, despite their parents’ best efforts, runs around. Suggest that very little children wear slippers. You would be surprised how much hassle this simple step can prevent! Know that this “running about” usually lasts only about a month. Then you can move on to the next challenge.

14. Talk about the possibility of each teacher getting First Aid certification. Review the disaster evacuation plan for your church and decide how it will affect the Sunday school when it is in session. 15 mins

15. Summarize any main points or agreements that you have made. A review of the above steps will help you. 3 mins

16. Agree on a time for the next meeting. 2 mins

17. Pray. 5 mins

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