• Perhaps it’s the Baby Moses boat races.
  • Or the Sunday the children decorated their own John the Baptist styrofoam wig heads.
  • It could be the music we sing, everything from Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen to the Indigo Girls, Steve Earle, Dan Zanes, and even Green Day.
  • It might be our performance of “Nacho Jacob,” safe to say the first theatrical production in history to combine Jacob with Morley Safer and Jack Black, complete with luchador wrestling masks. As the joke goes, Judson Sunday School is “nacho” typical Sunday School.

 

Our families are diverse: Some parents are single, some coupled. Some couples are in same gender relationships and identify as gay; others are in different gender relationships and identify as straight. Some parents have strong church backgrounds while some have no church experience whatsoever. Some of our families are multi-racial, and some not.

What we have in common is the desire for our kids to receive a progressive church education. At Judson Sunday School, the emphasis is on the truth within a Bible story rather than the truth of a Bible story, and our lessons stress the great themes found within religion, such as love, justice, peace and forgiveness.

Childcare: Our classes meet during the church worship hour, yet we are vigilant in providing opportunities for our children to participate in the worship service. We also provide childcare for congregational meetings and many other special events.

Judson Sunday School: a bit weird, wonderful, insightful, delightful, safe, but mostly, a lot of fun!

When the muse calls him, Judson's Sunday School director Andy Frantz (The Grand Poobah!) provides insights, mild rants, celebrations of the absurd, critical raves, modern philosophies and much more.

Read This Week at Judson's Sunday School below and feel free to send your comments, questions, jokes to the Grand Poobah himself: JudsonGrandPoobah (at) gmail.com

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Incontinence Consultants Are Standing By

I mute commercials. I find it helps, particularly if one is not interested in the benefits of having a personal relationship with a certified pre-owned Mercedes Benz, or most especially if one is not in the market for a Bob-O-Pedic 92” Bonded Leather Sleeper Sofa with built-in cup holders, pull out trays, toe massager and pizza oven, all for the low, low price of $399.95.

There are occasions when I do not reach the clicker in time. As a consequence, I can now sing every note of the Carmel Car Service jingle: “666-6666. Remember 6. Goin’ to the airport. Remember 6. Ridin’ around town,” etc. And should something happen while I’m “ridin’ around town” – should I be hit head-on, rear-ended, or T-boned – I know what to do: “Don’t wait, Call 8!” Sing it with me everyone: “Cellino & Barnes, Injury Attorneys, 800-888-8888.” Those guys will get us the justice we deserve.

Not too long ago while watching a Yankee game on television, I failed to reach the remote control in time to mute the following:

“How would you like to have all of your incontinent supplies delivered discreetly right to your door at no cost to you, and with free shipping? You can, thanks to ActivStyle.”

Normally, I wouldn’t have given ActivStyle a second thought. I’m not presently in need of such a service, although who knows what the future has in store for any of us. As Elton John sings, “It’s the Circle of Life and it moves us all.”

No, what really caught my attention was what came next. A lovely woman with a soothing voice, staring into the camera, saying:

“At ActivStyle we understand your needs and we’re here to help. When you call us, a Personal Incontinence Consultant will help you find the right product that is both comfortable and makes you feel secure.”

A Personal Incontinence Consultant?!

Perhaps this would be a good time for each of us to drop to our knees in thanksgiving for the jobs we have rather than the job we could have. Personally, I’ve had some crappy jobs in my life, and on more than one occasion, I’ve been accused of talking a lot of crap, but so far, talking a lot of crap has not been my crappy job. On the other hand, I am in the religion business, so . . .

Welcome back to Judson Sunday School, mommas and poppas! What, you were expecting a more delicate greeting? Have we not met?

Yes, it’s me, your old pal, Andy Frantz, Grand Poobah of All Things Judson Sunday School, or as I like to think of myself, Judson Sunday School’s Spiritual Incontinence Consultant, in charge of educating the religious crap out of your children. Yes, Judson Sunday School, where the search for God is unrestrained and the free flow of ideas is not only encouraged, it’s celebrated! (Have you had enough of this stuff yet? Okay, I’ll stop.)

Summer’s over, boys and goils, time to go back to school. Sunday School classes for preschool through high school students are now in session. What’s in store for your children this year? Why, I’m glad you asked.

For your youngest children, this year’s curriculum is entitled “Wonderful Welcome.” This curriculum “engages and challenges children to explore how and why we are willing to welcome others into our lives.” How do we do that? By “sharing intangible gifts, those positive qualities which we all have inside us, such as kindness, love, invitation, covenant and empathy. In this program, children learn to articulate and express a variety of intangible gifts, empowering them to share these gifts with others.” Plus, there’s juice and crackers!

For your elementary, middle and high school students, this year’s curriculum is entitled “Jesus, Etc.” (You’re welcome, Wilco fans. If you are not a Wilco fan, just go with “Cultural Influences of the Inter-testamental Period On 21st Century Christology – For Third Graders.”) In “Jesus, Etc.,” our goal will be to bring the same honesty and intellectual curiosity to the life and teachings of Jesus and the New Testament as we brought to last year’s study of the Old Testament. Isn’t it nice to have a goal?

We have a lot of music planned for your children this year, beginning with Irish singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke’s terrific song, “Big Bad Beautiful World,” followed by a bit of time travel back to the Kinks’ “Better Things.” Before you know it, we’ll be knee-deep in reindeer and snow, so why not sing “All That I Want” by the Weepies? As always, picture versions of these and all songs are available for all those little Judson Mozarts who have yet to learn to read.

Poohbettes - an unfortunate title given the subject matter in the beginning of this newsletter - I can’t forget this year’s teaching staff. Returning for another year are NYU students Lottie Rowe, Rachel Robins, and Rachel Vitale; summer intern Mac Twining; actress extraordinaire Lulu Fogarty; and the tallest recent University of Maryland graduate I know, Ezra Ellenberg. I feel very fortunate to have each of these young people on staff this year and I know your children will love hanging out with them every Sunday morning.

Let’s see, Poohbettes, music, curriculum, incontinence – I think I’ve covered just about everything. Now if you’ll excuse me, to quote the great Joni Mitchell, I’ve “got the urge for going.”

See you in church!

Andy

Grand Poobah & Spiritual Incontinence Consultant

 
55 Washington Square South New York, NY 10012 | phone: 212-477-0351 | fax: 212-995-0844