I could not think of a worse way to spend Sunday morning as a kid then to be taken to school. The pending dreadful Monday morning would close in even quicker. When I was a regular attendee of “classes” in the old church basement, I went along with the charade. Monday to Friday school was draining enough, so why in the hell would I even remotely find Sunday school better? Regular school was tiring. I just wanted to rest, read and be home! Anywhere else but another damn school!
I begged to be saved from these Sundays by anything and anyone. Even hoped to be sick….
I was the child and grand-child of regular loyal church folk who sang horrible hymnals and read passages in those stupid beat-up old books like robots. Yes, at the time I was a young believer in God and all things Christianity. Why did I need to attend a building every Sunday to prove it? I would ask these questions and be quickly shut down. You were never really allowed to ask these kinds of questions.
My earliest memory of Sunday school would have been around the time I was in kindergarten. It was during the time of the famine in Ethiopia. Awareness was being raised all over the world about this crisis. Foreign aid and funds were being brought in to help this country. Private fundraising was happening everywhere. We all were given these small cardboard banks to collect coins in order to raise money for the cause. Collectively, the Sunday school raised something in the realm of eleven dollars.
I could not understand this whole thing. If people were starving, couldn’t God just take everyone to McDonald’s? Why did we have to send money? I did not understand these things and wanted answers.
The songs were equally as horrible as the “activities”. We were robots in training. We were a group of kids going through the motions so we could one day sing similar rubbish being played out upstairs. The hour crawled along. It felt like a full day. The damp creepy basement with its’ out-of-tune piano and disgusting kitchen just made it worse. That kitchen would be home to many beans and brown bread suppers used as fundraisers to cover mounting costs. This is something else that blew me away. As a kid I knew it was cheaper to buy a tin of beans and a loaf of bread and have it at home? People happily came down to this creepy basement to eat a plateful of revolting beans and preservative-filled bread from a large-scale commercial bakery! It wasn’t even fresh bakery bread! It was amazing what I figured out at such a young age. The absolute absurdity of it all!
At some point during my younger days I ended up switching Sunday schools to the Presbyterian Church closer to where I lived. I think it was because the school at the main church stopped happening. As I wrote this, I stopped to call my Mom to see if she could remember why we switched. She couldn’t even remember us going there in the first place or why we would have been switched out from one to the other!
There was a very valuable lesson learned at Sunday school. This is a lesson I still carry with me.
There were much better ways to spend a Sunday…..