Pedagogical training program for the Sunday School teachers of Medak Diocese was held on 29th March, 2017 at CSI St. Paul’s Church, Sanatnagar, Hyderabad. The program was jointly organized by the Diocese and the Christian Education department of the Church of South India-Synod. About 250 teachers from 110 pastorates of the Diocese have attended the program with lot enthusiasm. Besides the delegates from the twin cities (Hyderabad and Secunderabad), majority of them came from the rural pastorates who have never attended a training before. The training program was inaugurated by Rt. Rev. A. C. Solomon, the Bishop in Medak. He has reminded that training the children to walk in the ways of God is the primary concern of the church as children are the carriers of faith. He appreciated the delegates for having travelled long distances to attend the program. Mrs. Vajra Solomon, Bishop Amma; Rev. Dr. T. Bhasker, the Vice-Chairperson on the Diocese; Mr. Dolkala David, the Property Secretary of the Diocese and Mr. P. Mervyn, the Diocesan Youth Secretary have shared greetings and encouraged the participants to render committed service among the children. Rev. Shanthi Roberts, the Chairperson of the Town District Church Council said the prayers for the program.
The purpose of Christian education was the main thrust in the first session. Leading children to Christ, helping child to see the world through the word and overcoming the hurdles by trusting God were the encouraging points shared by Dr. Prabhu, the Director, Kids Kount, Bangalore. In the following sessions, he focused on various methodologies that help Sunday school teachers to present the lessons through innovative methods. He explained 10 possible ways of communicating in the Sunday schools. They are: 1. Direct Experience 2. Made up Experience 3. Drama and Skits 4. Demonstration 5. Field Trip 6. Exhibition 7. Videos 8. Audios 9. Visuals and 10. Verbal. It was an eye opener for the participants that while most used method is verbal, it only occupies the last place in the sequence of importance. Rev. James Cecil Victor, the Director of Pastoral Concerns, CSI Synod took a session on Model Sunday School. He informed the participants that every Sunday school should be child friendly, disabled friendly and gender sensitive. He encouraged the teachers to create a space for the children to express their views and doubts. Also he brought to their notice that Christian Education is about transformation and discipleship. While today’s children are more susceptible for the negative influence of pseudo ideologies presented to them on social media and even in cartoon networks, the Christian Education moulds the tender minds into spiritually strong, morally upright and socially relevant beings.
The feedback was very touching as most of them opined that the training program was very useful. Anita Thomas from SPG church said, “I have helped my mother and sister who take Sunday school with activities and teaching aids but I never took Sunday school in my life. I’m quite challenged and inspired today to take up this ministry seriously. I thank the organizers for this well thought out program”. Mrs. Feba Christina from Holy Trinity Church, Bollaram expressed that the training has helped the participants to update themselves with creative and innovative teaching methods that are useful for both Sunday School and forthcoming VBS”. The training program came to an end with the prayer by Rev. M. Jayanand, the presbyter in charge of St. Paul’s Church, Sanatnagar and vote of thanks proposed by Mr. Samson Katamalla, the Sunday School Secretary of the Diocese.
Mr. Samson Katamalla
Sunday School Secretary, Medak Diocese
Rev. K. James Cecil Victor
Director, Pastoral Concerns, Synod