In September 2012, Zion Lutheran and First United Methodist Churches launched a joint Sunday School ministry called “The Rainbow Connection.” Through this unique partnership, our churches are able to share teachers, facilities, and resources, enable new friendships among children, as well as double enrollment, better utilize classroom space, and spark new energy and creativity.
The Rainbow Connection is open to children Age 3 through Grade 7, utilizing two curriculum approaches: Spark Sunday School, which enables children to explore the Bible and their faith through creative art projects, music, games, and even cooking, technology, and drama; and Godly Play, which helps children learn, identify, and express ways to experience the presence of God in their lives.
One of the unique features of the Rainbow Connection is the Spark Story Bible, an incredible resource for Preschool to 2nd Grade students, that weaves together child-friendly stories, colorful pictures, and fun details and questions along the way. Older students use the Spark Bible (NRSV) which helps them explore the Bible in a personal way and makes it easy for kids to interact with God’s Word. Stickers help kids engage with the Bible by thinking about the text in a personal way with questions and statements like “I memorized it!”, “Makes me feel?” and “Reminds me of?” It also includes activity suggestions and reflective questions.
The children will be hearing the key stories of the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures as we emphasize the most basic faith message: God loves us all. One characteristic of our joint ministry is that we return to the same Biblical passage over the course of several weeks, so that each child will have several opportunities to hear each story. Children who are able to attend the program regularly will engage the same story in a different way each time, learning the story through multiple (and fun!) perspectives.
Children also participate in musical activities during Sunday School–it’s a great chance for the kids to have some experience with music!
Since both of our facilities have particular strengths, our combined ministry will utilize both of our facilities on a rotating monthly basis. On the Sundays that Sunday School meets at Zion, the children will meet and remain here, and we’ll be joined by children from FUMC. On the Sundays that Sunday School meets at FUMC, we will meet at Zion at 9:00am and walk to FUMC together (and will return to Zion together shortly before 10:30am worship). If you want to let us know to expect you, you can call the church (413/442-3525) or you can download and fill out the Sunday School Registration Packet in advance and mail it directly to Zion Lutheran Church, 74 First Street, Pittsfield MA 01201.
Teachers, click here to login to Spark Sunday School: