Bible Building and Baking is celebrating its seventh year. For all that time Sunday School children ranging in age from two to ten have been gathering weekly after school, most recently on Mondays. Theoretically we meet to build and bake; what actually happens though during this hour and a half- two if the oven is not cooperating- is much less tangible and far more magical. What happens has also changed a bit over the years as the participants have.
In the early days, we focused on the task and the product- the baking and of course, the eating. Yeast dough was transformed into everything from pizza to stollen. There were field trips to a local bakery and chocolate factory. We learned about ingredients, measurements and baking tools. We created a small cookbook and my mother complained that I had gained too much weight.
Gradually, as the class got bigger and the children younger, things loosened up. They just had to. Sometimes there were over twenty children. Older kids started bringing their younger sibling or two. The field trips were to the bathroom to wash hands, the ingredients became fewer and the knives plastic . I lost some of the weight because there were no longer any leftovers.
Sometimes, I feel guilty that the yeast dough we now use is made by Trader Joe’s; then, I remind myself that the class is about so much more. It’s about learning to love Plymouth as part of our daily lives. It’s about wanting to come to church, befriending other church kids. It’s about making memories.
Here are just some recent highlights: Two weeks ago a child lost his first tooth while eating an apple he had sliced and dipped in caramel. At the same time, one of the lovely caregivers who stays in class because of a younger sibling was photographing the younger sibling’s first steps to send to her mother, away on a business trip. That day, our weekly Bible story was read by a nine year old and a five year old said the closing prayer.
This week, the older kids were eager to help out in any way that they could. They were bathroom- runners, they supervised the hot glue gun, they drew hearts for the younger kids to fill in and they tirelessly filled the water pitcher. The rewards? Admiration, hugs and a long pink beaded necklace from the younger ones.
So, please, if you are ever available on a Monday afternoon, feel free to join us for some of the wonderful chaos!