Sunday, December 23, 2007

What Zorg learned about Santa in CCD

Disclaimer: If you and your family have a "Santa" tradition, I am OK with that!

First, about Santa: we thoroughly enjoy Santa under his more formal title, "St. Nicholas." The kids know about the conventional North Pole/reindeer silliness, but we present it as made up stories and we tell them the real stories about St Nicholas. When they ask, we explain that we don't call him "Santa" because the made up stories featuring "Santa" tend to get kids focussed on what they are getting, whereas St Nicholas helps lead them to Jesus and helps them think about what they will give. I've always thought that Zorg didn't really buy this.

Second, about CCD: it's the equivalent of Sunday School or Catechism class (it actually stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine). I am co-teaching Zorg's class this year and it is the first time I have taught kids who have not been taught the Faith at home.

I asked the group if they knew the story of Christmas. Hands shoot up! Pick me! Pick me! The answer: Santa comes and brings us presents. CLUNK.

The CLUNK was Zorg's jaw hitting the floor. In point of fact, the kids with that answer collectively had a hazy idea that there was something about Jesus and animals, but that was a minor detail to the Santa side of Christmas.

OK. I always wanted to be a missionary and proclaim the Gospel to the "pagan babies who had never heard of Jesus." Here was my chance...

It all ended happily with each child able to explain the actual Christmas story with the help of their own nativity set, but I don't think Zorg is quite the same. They really didn't know...


Kate in NJ said...

Wow, we are more "Santa" people, but my daughter does know about'd think people who were going to send their kids to CCD would have actually told them something
at home about their faith.
I hope you are all having a Merry Christmas!

Eric and Wendy said...

It's funny, isn't it? This is the First Communion year, so I think that's a lot of why some of the kids are here.

We are having a great Christmas now that we all healthy! Happy 9th day of Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I helped out with a confirmation class day of recollection. These were 8th graders. We went to the John Paul II center in DC. Students from the theology department lead the day. They take the students who are to be confirmed on a tour of the center and go over basics of the faith.

So first stop was the models of Bethelem and Jerusalem. First question. "Where was Jesus born?"
Silence. Absolute silence. Prompting them by humming O Little Town of Bethelhem finally got an answer. Then we asked them where Jesus died. Silence. We are standing in front of the models with the names on them, mind you.

It soon became apparent that their knowledge of the in between Jesus' birth and death was even less. Scary.

So if you are CCD teacher,please don't get discouraged and please teach the children about Jesus. They so need to know the truth and if they don't learn it in CCD, they won't learn it. CCD the most important preaching you'll ever do!