New Sunday School - Not.

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mom3
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New Sunday School - Not.

Post by mom3 » 03 Feb 2019, 21:01

I have tried it. I don't like it. The taste, texture, sound. None of it. I know we changed buildings and that alone has me miffed. But this system is he&$ of a lot worse. Since there is no other class to go to, people we don't know are in the room. A whole bunch of old hard liners. Yes there was talking and information exchanged. But I wouldn't call it a discussion.

Then you hear what other people are teaching their families and you realize Primary isn't the issue, it's the homes. One brother shared how he used boards with nails in them, and then withdrawn the nails, leaving behind wood with holes. I won't go any farther.

I am not going to make it.

Then on top of that we are having a special Stake Conference - one month after our last Stake Conference. Really. I don't think I am going to like 2019. I am ready for one hour church.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

AmyJ
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Re: New Sunday School - Not.

Post by AmyJ » 04 Feb 2019, 06:32

I hear ya...

Sunday School is too big now in our branch too...

Our Gospel Doctrine teacher is very smart and probably very insecure, so she winds up rambling and testifying a lot.

It didn't help her teaching equilibrium that one of our well known respected members of the branch appears to have passed out in his wheelchair sometime during or just after sacrament - so some of the brethren were going and coming to deal with that (and paramedics). The words "heart attack" were bandied about - but aside from seeing him wheeled out of chapel and later, a police officer walking down the hall, I have no direct information. One of our more senior sisters who came to class late respectfully hijacked the lesson time to request an impromptu group prayer for him and his family.

Later, My husband and I had a conversation along the lines of "If John the Baptist was inspired to preach about the coming of Christ while not being in the same area of Jesus Christ (the teacher had pointed out that Jesus would have traveled 60-80 miles down to Jordan) - how would John know when to start preaching specifically about "preparing the way of the Lord".
It wasn't like Jesus had an easy means to communicate with John (yes people could have sent the message, or God could have inspired John) - no text messaging or carrier pigeons were around to solve the problem of communication though.

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DarkJedi
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Re: New Sunday School - Not.

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Feb 2019, 06:37

Interesting, Mom, that I logged on to do exactly the same thing - complain about Sunday School. Full disclosure: I've never been a huge fan of SS anyway and in the three hour block I mostly hung out in the foyer or chapel during second hour (and I had a lot of company).

I have likewise given the new system a shot and likewise don't like it. Yes, there was some participation but it was a small handful of people and it was all fluff in IMO. I live in a small ward where SM attendance is less than 100 counting the dozen or so Primary kids and half dozen youth. We filled the center section of the chapel (the only room big enough) for SS - that's just too many people for a discussion type class. The only thing I got out of it was a bit of aggravation before I totally tuned out. There was a good amount of "our older brother Jesus" stuff which I dislike anyway, and I have a great quote from Ballard on what the focus of that should be. (I may post that in quote of the day.) There was also a fairly long "discussion" (dominated by two individuals who agreed) about how unworthy John was.

I've known all along that the problem is not Primary, but home. I will say that I like the study schedule and they way the "home centered" part is supposed to work, even though I'm an empty nester. I probably like it more this year than other years because I like the NT more than any other book, and when I do my studying it's with the KJV, Oxford Study Bible (NRSV), Young's Literal Translation, and other resources. (I found a cool app that compares the JST to the KJV and literal Greek, verse by verse). I have had some little conversations about stuff with my adult children, but DW and I do not formally study together (she teaches Primary these days). I think in my personal study I am edified the way I have approached it. Again, I can't see feeling the same when we get to BoM (next year) and D&C.

Oh, another thing that kind of surprised me yesterday. I came in late to avoid the "everybody sit in the middle up front" directives but when I did come in there was a discussion about mechanics/logistics. I was honestly dumbfounded by a couple of the questions asked a month into this. Basic stuff like "So we're doing two weeks of reading now? Are we doing this same thing in priesthood?" (That came from the YM president.)

Anyway, I don't think I'm going to make the "church supported" part and will have to rely on the "home centered" part for me. I'm OK with being alone in the foyer (and I know which rooms are empty) but I don't think I'm going to be alone for long.

Side note: Our testimony meeting was 70 minutes long yesterday. That was not by design, but a rather long winded and wordy woman got up when it was time to end testimonies, and another (shorter testimony) lady followed her. Then we still sang all 8 verses of I Believe In Christ (in a funeral march tempo, of course) and prayer. And our testimony meeting lacked focus on Christ, Christ's atonement, etc. - the aforementioned wordy lady didn't even mention Christ except "In the name of...amen." So to be fair, I was already aggravated going in to SS.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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nibbler
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Re: New Sunday School - Not.

Post by nibbler » 04 Feb 2019, 07:03

I will say this much - at least the new Sunday School has us talking about Jesus again. Granted we're back on the New Testament and I worry what will happen when we move out of the gospels and more especially what will happen when we move off the New Testament.

I agree that it's too large. I've found that the more people there are the more likely discussion paralysis will ensue. With larger groups people tend to think someone else will make a comment, then no one makes a comment, then the instructor starts to ask simpler and simpler questions because no one is participating. There's nothing quite like being in a large class where no one is answering the question, "Where do we need to go each Sunday?"
mom3 wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 21:01
I am not going to make it.
I didn't make it last year. The classes on the "Old Testament" where most of the scriptures cited came from the PoGP, D&C, and the BoM didn't do it for me, so I made it one hour church for most of last year.

This year I'm 50/50. Two hour church on the SS Sundays and one hour church on the PH/RS Sundays. We're still reading conference talks in PH. I don't find the discussion on them engaging.

I'd say it doesn't have to work so don't force it. I forget who, but someone said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. A tailor the experience to your needs vs. tailor yourself to meet the expectations placed on you sort of thing.
With a bucket of Lego, you can tell any story. You can build an airplane or a dragon or a pirate ship - it's whatever you can imagine.
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nibbler
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Re: New Sunday School - Not.

Post by nibbler » 04 Feb 2019, 07:07

One other thought.

This isn't a knock against the current instructor, but I was hoping that with the new curriculum we'd get a new instructor as well. Really drive home the fact that this is a shift. By keeping the same instructor, the overall approach didn't change, so it's more business as usual, now with twice the amount of attendees.
With a bucket of Lego, you can tell any story. You can build an airplane or a dragon or a pirate ship - it's whatever you can imagine.
— Christopher Miller

Curt Sunshine
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Re: New Sunday School - Not.

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Feb 2019, 07:11

I teach Gospel Doctrine right now most of the time, so I am biased. :lol:

Maybe I should start posting lesson summaries again.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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On Own Now
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Re: New Sunday School - Not.

Post by On Own Now » 04 Feb 2019, 09:23

FWIW, I think the new material is light years ahead of what we used to have. Some thoughts on it:

- The two manuals (home and teacher) have been greatly updated to use quotes from modern leaders. Gone are the quotes from George Q Cannon era leaders.
- There are only two lessons that refer to Jesus the Christ, and only in minor ways, which is pretty astonishing since this is the NT year and the work is a watershed of past Mormon thought.
- There are no quotes by BRM, which is surprising considering BRM wrote a comprehensive three-volume "Doctrinal New Testament Commentary" and could easily be the most knowledgeable Apostle with regard to NT during my lifetime. But his authoritative tone has been quieted.
- The prompts tend to be a lot more along the lines of things to think about rather than declarative statements, which I find to be a big improvement.
- From the teacher perspective, there is no longer a basic lesson outline with backing quotes, meaning, I hope, the end to "who has quote number 6?"
- The home/family manual contains about 33% more material than the teacher's manual.
- The only thing I kind of miss is that the old manuals had a single-sentence objective. When I have taught GD using the old manuals, I would buy into that objective and then form the lesson around it, whether I used quotes from the manual or not. But that's missing now. Fine if I'm teaching, but it could lead a bit to unfocused material-covering lessons.

I have liked the new SS a lot. But I will say that as the teacher, since I get to steer it in the direction that I think is important, then of course it will match my expectation of what we should talk about in the class.

Some of you might hate my teaching. Some might like it. I have had teachers in the past that I would love to have this year and others that would make me skip in order not to embarrass myself or that teacher with contrary interjections. In other words, I applaud the Church for the new material and acknowledge that different groups with different teachers will have varying success with it (and will even measure success differently).
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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DarkJedi
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Re: New Sunday School - Not.

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Feb 2019, 09:59

I have made note of those positive things, OON. And I agree, the stuff, especially church leader quotes, is way ahead of the old manual which was way out of date. I like no BRM (whom Givens regularly throws under the bus in his books) and even Talmadge and JtC was not all great - I don't miss it. I like the home materials, and I like the teacher manual because it does allow for tons of freedom. My main complaint is with the logistics of the class itself - it is impossible to have group discussions in a class of 75 people and my ward is small. Yes, the teacher can do more small group stuff, etc. but that will get old pretty fast also. It also not her fault, and I think she did a decent job at trying yesterday - she seem surprised at where the time went.

In the past I have generally felt that SS was a waste of an hour of my time every week, even when the class was a lot smaller. The only thing that is changed is now it's every other week that the hour is wasted. FWIW, I do like PH Sundays so far, but we do have teachers there that aren't of a mind to just read the talk around the room like we're in fourth grade.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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dande48
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Re: New Sunday School - Not.

Post by dande48 » 04 Feb 2019, 10:03

TBH, I haven't been to Church since the New Year. I keep telling my wife "next week, I'll be there". I just keep feeling too stressed those mornings, and don't feel up to dealing with it.
mom3 wrote:
03 Feb 2019, 21:01
Then you hear what other people are teaching their families and you realize Primary isn't the issue, it's the homes. One brother shared how he used boards with nails in them, and then withdrawn the nails, leaving behind wood with holes. I won't go any farther.
I wonder how this new structure is going to pan out for the evolution of the Church. Because that whole board/nails analogy is one that got passed around plenty is SS, which I am sure the gentleman remembered and passed onto his kids. With increased separation between SS and home, I expect there will be less "doctrinal transfer" between home->SS->home->SS..., and more home <-Manual->SS. I think in the long run, it might make things easier to do away with doctrine dis-aligned with the manual. Or maybe it will cause things to become more dis-aligned. It's an interesting experiment, and I'm excited to see what happens. More "apostasy"? Less conformity? More conformity? Who knows?
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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On Own Now
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Re: New Sunday School - Not.

Post by On Own Now » 05 Feb 2019, 12:19

DarkJedi wrote:
04 Feb 2019, 09:59
I have made note of those positive things, OON. And I agree, the stuff, especially church leader quotes, is way ahead of the old manual which was way out of date. I like no BRM (whom Givens regularly throws under the bus in his books) and even Talmadge and JtC was not all great - I don't miss it. I like the home materials, and I like the teacher manual because it does allow for tons of freedom. My main complaint is with the logistics of the class itself - it is impossible to have group discussions in a class of 75 people and my ward is small. Yes, the teacher can do more small group stuff, etc. but that will get old pretty fast also. It also not her fault, and I think she did a decent job at trying yesterday - she seem surprised at where the time went.
75 people would be impossible. If I were in a situation like that, I'd ask the bishop to have more than one GD class, to keep the numbers down. When I was teaching GD in my BYU Singles Ward in the 1980's we had more than one GD class (I think three). I think 25-30 per class would be ideal.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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