Saturday, September 12, 2009

School Days, School Days, *voice cracks*

Hey! Some crazy person took over my blog...certainly wasn't me...*hides Supernatural fanfic*

Well, anyway, we now return you to your regularly scheduled blog. :)

Okay, so, tomorrow is the first day of the Beginning Faith Class that I'm helping to teach. I had thought that it started next week, based on the calendar that the DRE sent out, but she apparently just doesn't mark the thing well enough. We've got classes from now through May, and we think we've got it fairly well planned, in the broad sense. It's a bunch of third graders, mostly, so 6/7 years old.

The general layout of the class is thusly:

Begin with an opening prayer, then have a best/worst of the week (the idea behind that is to get the kids to thank God for the good things, and ask for His help for the bad things). Then, we have the Word Box, which'll be for vocabulary. We've got the words all printed out, and we'll pull a word and learn the meaning. After that we go over the Gospel for the day (we've borrowed a missalette from the church, with permission of course) and then have a sort of q&a, explanation period, though I have doubts as to how many questions the kids will have, but then again I don't spend a ton of time with kids this age, so they may have more than I think. Plus, if they have a question we can't answer, we'll have an Ask Father Pat basket and write them out (and then ask Father Pat ourselves). Also, yes, as an amusing aside, we have an Irish priest named Patrick. Heh.

Then, a Letter to Jesus, which'll be sort of a journal kind of thing, with the kids being able to write out just, whatever they're thinking about, and Deb suggested that we can have anyone who wants to read it out loud do so, but again, I'm not sure about that, because, journal's are kind of private, so I don't know that the kids'll really want to read them to the class, but it's an option. *shrug* Deb and I'll also being doing this (a lead by example sort of thing, see).

Then a group activity - we've found some games, crosswords, etc. from to use, plus, later in the year, after the kids have learned the prayers, we're going to be making the rosaries. We're going to find out what each kids favorite color is so their beads will be that color.

Going over the books (we have one for Reconciliation and one for Eucharist), plus learning the prayers, how to use the Bible, and other things.

And then a concluding prayer, and we return the kids to their parents. Then, freedom! :)

We'll also sort of tailor different lessons to the different seasons, leading up to Easter, Christmas, etc. Though I doubt I'll do it, I kind of really want to, when we're doing Christmas, and explaining who St. Nicholas is, and the Nativity, tell the story of Saint Nicholas punching Arius out. :) For some reason that story just makes me happy. *However* I'm assuming that most of these kids will believe in Santa Claus, so that's probably going to be out. And just as a personal aside, I don't like that. I mean, it's up to each parent, but I'm (should I ever get to have kids) not going to teach them Santa and the Easter Bunny. Those're commercial things that have taken away from the true meaning of those seasons, of those Holy Days. So...*blows raspberry* I'm not going to lie to my kids and tell them there's a jolly fat man living at the North Pole with a bunch of elves. I will, however, tell them about Saint Nicholas and yes, definitely him punching out Arius. And we can celebrate him on his day, December 6, then move on to the real reason for Christmas, which would be the Nativity!

And now for my tangent:

I was thinking about writting this post last night, just, vaguely forming what I wanted to say, and I went off on a tangent in my head about it! So you know it's bad...

There's a large-ish contingent in some forms of Protestantism (mostly evangelical, home churchy groups, I think, but it exists in the more settled denominations as well), that women can't teach. I'm also aware that this thought exists in Catholicism and probably other places as well. And...a while back, I was considering it, and whether or not that meant that I shouldn't teach this class. Clearly, I came down on the side of teaching.

Ideally, yes, religious education should be handled by the clergy and religious (priests, nuns, deacons). However, in my parish, we don't have enough religious to do this. If laypeople didn't teach, nothing would get taught. I'm teaching kids, not men. Now, would I teach a class of grown men? At this point, I'd say yes, if it was something I was confident in, and it was needed. My concern, in that case, would be the propriety and keeping modesty standards. To that end, I'd certainly never be alone with one of the men, and, of course, dressing as I do, I think that end's covered (badum-bum). And, of course, should a priest or a nun appear to take over the teaching, I'd happily step aside, because they have far more time to devote to this imaginary subject, and, as I said, I think ideally religious education should be handled by the religious.

I think that this aversion to women teaching comes from the whole, 'let women be silent in church' and, also, the headcovering, because in the same passage it asserts that then man is the head of the woman. So, 'headship'.

I admit it now, I don't get it. I've tried, Lord knows I have, to wrap my head around this concept, and what the hell it means. I even wrote something on it way back, but it's so convoluted and sense-less, that even as I wrote it I knew it didn't make any sort of sense.

I, clearly, believe in covering, for two reasons: modesty and because God commanded it. Why did God command it? Well, I don't know. My thoughts on this can change in an instant, I just know that He did, and it's a command I happily obey, even though I don't fully understand why. I also embrace the knowledge that there are simply some things, some positions, in the Church that I, as a woman, cannot hold. I cannot be a priest. Why? Because I have girly parts. But, really, because Christ is the High Priest, and all the priests that we have now are representative of Him. He set it up, men only. And I'm quite comfortable with that. I cannot be a deacon. Again, girly parts. (Though I do believe there used to be deaconesses, back when the Church practiced Baptism by immersion - the deaconesses were there for the women coming into the Church, as it would be inappropriate for a man to do that - but I haven't made a huge study of it, so there could be more to it.) Whatever. I'm comfortable with my limitations in this matter. I can't be a priest, I can't be a deacon, and I can't write my name in the snow without the use of my hands. Life moves on. :)

But, 'headship'. What is it? I mean, really, what does it mean?

Let's say, theoretically, that I'm married to a man who decides that infant Baptism is un-Biblical. Under my *limited* comprehension of 'headship', I'd have to follow his lead and just pray that God enlightens him. Except, clearly, my husband would be *wrong*. So why should I follow someone who's been mislead? Shouldn't I, even though I'm a woman, gently (not harping, cause that never works), present the evidence from the Bible and the Fathers and the Church that proves him wrong? Correct him? And if I can't do it, ask our priest to speak with him? (Because we would most certainly have a priest - I can't imagine marrying a man who's not either Catholic or Orthodox). Why should I allow my husband to lead us into error just because his bits dangle and mine don't? After all, I'm responsible for *my* relationship with God, with keeping myself in His Grace. So why should I let *anyone* lead me away from that?

And what about me, in reality? I have no husband, I have a father who (while he is a good man, and I love him), is not in the Church, and would, if I consulted with him on these sorts of things, give me answers that are definitely against Church teaching and that of the Fathers. So...what do I do? I've got no 'head', but God, and it's not like I can dial Him up and ask. I've got to rely on the Church and my own understandings. So 'headship' in the human, mortal understanding of the term is sort of useless to me at this point.

Here endeth my tangent.

Oh! End note: Plus side of the Swine Flu (H1N1, if you're insulted by the reference to Wilbur): I no longer have to dodge people trying to hold my hands during the Our Father at Mass. Our diocese has ruled that we're *not* to do this, because of health concerns, and also that the Sign of Peace is just to be verbal at this point, 'Peace be with you' and a friendly smile and nod. I no longer have to dodge random old ladies trying to hug me! I was okay with the handshake, but... hugging!

Right. Off to print out 20 copies of the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, the Our Father, the 10 Commandments, and our opening & closing prayers.

Oh, also, I'm going to switch to the 7:30 Mass, because my class is at 9, which is the Mass that I usually attend, and I don't like the 10:45 Mass, because it tends to be the 'charismatic' Mass, and, just no. Which means, at least this weekend, that since I'm dog sitting again, in the next town over from where I live, I've got to get up extra early to take care of the dogs, then drive a half hour (depending on traffic) to get to Mass on time, but of course I'm going to be early, because I'm not certain how well attended the early Mass is, and I don't want to get stuck parking Myrddin in the swale because I didn't get there in time.


  1. the Greek word for "head" in the 1 Cor. 11 passage is "kephale" which means head in the sense of "fountainhead", "headwaters" or "source". But not in the sense of head=authority or ruler over.

    hope this tidbit helps. You can unpack all the various implications of that at your own leisure.

  2. Hmm....interesting. Clearly, I need one of those concordance thingys with the greek and what it means.

  3. Wow, so much stuff in this one post! Now you see why it took me a while to read and reply, right?

    Your class schedule sounds reallllly fun! I almost wish I could be part of it. I like all the great things you have planned, and I hope the children enjoy it and learn much from it.

    Interesting thoughts re: headship and covering and women teaching. I've always had women teachers (e.g. Sunday school), but not women pastors. Except now in my nondenominational church we have a woman children's pastor..hmmmm. But I think they call her a "teacher." Sneaky, huh? One of my Foursquare Gospel friends explained to me about the cultural aspect of women speaking in the church. (She lives in WA. I don't know any FSG folks in these parts.)

    I'm so glad you don't have to hug people now! LOL!!

    OK, I can't remember what else I was going to say. Lots of good stuff in here though. :)

    Oh, I read a verse in the Bible the other day and when you mentioned "Fathers" here I was reminded of it. It said not to call people "father." I *think* it was something Jesus said, but I'm going from memory and, well, I'm tired and the ol' memory is lacking sometimes.

    And, yes, some freak took over your blog last week. I'm glad you made her stop posting so you could have a turn to write! Obviously, you were missing it. :-P

  4. Susanne,

    I like to multitask! :)

    Heh. Well if you're ever in SW Florida, you could 'audit' the class. ;)

    I'll do a post on it later (I have a picture of the classroom I want to include, but I can't upload it until I get home later this week), but the kids seemed to have fun in the first class, so we'll see.

    I come from a backgroud where women could not, never, ever, ever be pastors. They could, and did, however, teach Sunday School. Now, however, I've been told that some churches in the MS Lutherans are beginning to allow women pastors, which just makes me even more glad I got out of there. :)

    I've no problem with women teachers, religious or otherwise, it's the 'pastor/priest' thing that gets me.

    Heh. I wouldn't mind the hugging if I *knew* the people, and to be fair, it's only little old ladies who seem to want to hug me, and I know they mean well, it just bugs me! :-p

    I'm begininng to suspect this whole, 'headship' thing, in it's existent form, is a bit of wacky literal-reading protestanism.

    Yes, the 'call no man father' verse is Jesus speaking. I shall make a post!

    Hmm...yes...very disturbing, this clearly obsessive and unbalanced person who took over my blog and made such fun and informative Supernatural posts. *Nods gravely* *hides Dean and Castiel dolls behind her back*

  5. Amber, I'd love to see a pic from your class. Update us on it occasionally as well. I'm wondering if any of the kids will be willing to read their journals and what kinds of questions they come up with. Maybe you can share some of the tougher ones and your answers sometimes. :)

    "I'm beginning to suspect this whole, 'headship' thing, in it's existent form, is a bit of wacky literal-reading protestanism."

    Yes, likely that is true. If I can find the e-mail my friend sent me on this topic, I'll send it to you. I'm not positive I saved it, but I'll check.

    Eager for the "father" post then!

    I'm glad you got rid of that crazy woman and are back to posting on your own blog. I missed ya those days she was butting you out of the way. Mean, that one. Must have to do with all that Lucifer talk when she took over your Twitter as well.


    LOL ... the captcha (?) word I have to type is develize ... maybe that should be devilize with all this Lucifer talk. Hehehehe.

  6. Oh, I'll definately be sharing. :) It's going to be fun for all!

    I'd appreciate it, if you did save that email. I'd like to read it.

    Hmm, yes, well, I make no promises that she won't reappear at some point. I suspect she's hanging around, waiting for me to turn my back. ;)

    *giggle* *cough - serious face* Yes...that whole Twitter thing really was too much, wasn't it? I wonder what the woman from my church who follows me on Twitter thought? She never said anything, and I haven't seen her irl since, so... perhaps I should worry about being ambushed with Holy Water at some point?

    However, we tried to warn the Twitter-verse. And now it's too late. Lucifer is here, and he's... kinda suave. *twitches* So. Cool.

    Hah! I love it when stuff like that happens! It's a *sign* that the internet is paying attention to us! :)

  7. I sent you an e-mail so check your box later. The one I used the other day. :)

    Yes, no doubt, that crazy person is lurking so I'll be prepared if/when she returns. And, yes, you better watch out for the Holy Water. You might get a bucketful on your head. Hehehe. :)

  8. Excellent, thanks! Just for the record, that's my email all the time. :)

    I'm gonna wear one of those little 'rain hats' next time I see her, just in case.


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