- 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
JUDSON SUNDAY SCHOOL.
THEOLOGY? SURE, BUT WITH STYLE!
Greetings Summer Heathens!
What, you thought God was gonna let you keep hanging out on the Jersey Shore with JWOWW and Snooki for the rest of your days? Pleeeeeease! Time to shake the sand outta your shorts and get your buns back to Judson Sunday School, aka God’s Little Finishing School in Greenwich Village. We’ve been singing that old “Welcome Back” tune lately, and not just because all those poor Sweathogs seem to be dropping like flies these days. (Horshack, buddy, rest in peace. John Travolta, get a checkup. Try and relax a little. Maybe get a massage.) But we are very excited to welcome you and all of yours back to Judson Sunday School where classes are now in session.
We’ve got a lot in store for your kids this year, beginning with a new class for our preschoolers and kindergarteners with a curriculum written by former Judson Kid and Poohbette, Rachel Tenney, entitled “Me and My World.” This curriculum hopes to “instill values and feelings of self-worth and community importance” with lessons which “aim to create an environment that values each child for their unique qualities and abilities.” The key word here is “hopes.” Plus, we have snacks! What more could you ask for? Poohbettes Lottie Rowe and Nathan Lee will teach this class.
With apologies to Spike Lee, the curriculum for our early elementary school class this year is called “Do The Right Thing.” Poohbettes Marisol Cabrera and Lulu Fogarty will have your children focused on moral values and the choices children face. What are the “tools and attitudes that are necessary to bring goodness and justice into the larger world?” How do we “follow the call of love?” Seriously, I’m asking? Perhaps your early elementary school children will be able to teach us a thing or two when all is said and done this year.
As for our older elementary and middle schoolers, I’ll be at the helm once again with a curriculum entitled “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Bible, But Were Afraid to Read.” As everybody knows, no matter what religion you follow, you can’t spell “fundamentalism” without the word “mental,” as in “patient.” (Who put the “fun” in fundamentalism? No one I know of.) We’ll examine the riddles, mysteries and big questions of life, keeping an eye on what the Bible and various religious texts have to offer. Hopefully, your kids will begin to lay a foundation for their own beliefs. Either that or we will declare a Judson Jihad on other church Sunday School programs and spend the Sunday School hour kicking butt. We’ll see how the year progresses.
We’re starting a children’s choir this year with music by the likes of Tom Waits, Karine Polwart, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Tracy Chapman, Over the Rhine, Wilco, and perhaps, depending upon our sugar level, one of those songs from the movie Brave. Just think: while your kids are slaving over all that music, you could be off indulging yourself in a mindless, child-free, caffeine rush. Rehearsals will begin in October.
For those of you who have been drinking rather heavily lately at the prospect that your once adorable children are on the cusp of youth-dom, or as Joe Pesci put it in My Cousin Vinny, “yoot-dum,” whatever shall we do? Perhaps it’s time to rouse the Sunday School Committee from their slumber and schedule a forum or two to gnash and wail and plan for the future. Who exactly is the Sunday School Committee? Um . . . that would be you(t). All parents are invited to participate in Sunday School Committee meetings, which sounds horrifically boring until you hear that those committee meetings often come with free croissants from Patisserie Claude on West 4th Street. Trust me, the almond croissant alone will have you birthing more babies just so you can attend more Sunday School Committee meetings.
Finally, this year marks the beginning of my twentieth year as Grand Poobah of All Things Judson Sunday School. I think I’m very excited at the prospect of another year with all of your children,but I’ll let you know for sure once I get back from having my head examined. Kidding! Regardless,
WELCOME BACK TO JUDSON SUNDAY SCHOOL!
Sunday School Staff
Judson Sunday School’s dynamo staff is led by Andy Frantz, our Church School Director (better known as the Grand PooBah) of 19 years and counting. Judson Sunday School provides classes for preschool through high school students. Andy is currently aided by six teachers, a couple of whom are former Judson kids themselves, now all grown up. We are also fortunate to have the support of a wonderful Sunday School committee whose membership is open to all parents.