Punxsutawney Phil, Buckeye Chuck, Woodstock Willy, et. al.
February 2 came and went... the sun was out... the groundhogs saw their shadows... six more
weeks of winter. Do we really believe that? Are we so concerned about what the future holds for us that we will go to any lengths, even asking groundhogs or woodchucks (spoiler... they are one and the same) to predict the future? (The weather anyway.)
There is a religious connection. This tradition started in Europe as Candlemas Day, an early Christian holiday involving candles. Germans who settled in Pennsylvania (my home state) in the 1700s brought the custom to America... and it caught on.
Just good fun, if you ask me. Adults in top hats at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania waiting for Phil to poke his head out... and the world waits with them. They get national TV coverage and fame for few hours on February 2. It works so well, like all successful products it was copied... there is Georgia's General Beauregard Lee, Ohio's Buckeye Chuck, Illinois' Woodstock Willy and more.
Copying something that works is generally a good strategy. In the context of Christian Education for our church family, finding something that works is a bit elusive. Pastor Toby and the Christian Ed team are in the process of examining what does and doesn't work for our church family and what does and doesn't work for others. Few argue against offering quality Christian Education within the church, but what form should it take? What form will be supported? How much time will be given and when to Christian Education? For families? For children? Our church is using a survey to help gain some insight into how our own congregation members feel. I hope that everyone, those with or without children or grandchildren in the area, will take the time to respond.
We need good information and good understanding of what can work, could work, might work. There may be no one answer. Several forms of CE may be needed to serve the unique groups and needs that exist in our church family. Christian Education means different things to different people. We need to learn from all the different people what it means to them, so a plan can be put forth and an acknowledged important element of a church, Christian Education, can be there in a form that will be supported. If you haven't taken the survey yet... do it soon... please. The answer is not going to come from Phil, Chuck or Willy... we won't rely on them, we'd rather rely on you.
Jim Hubbard, Member