Articles From the October 1995 Unification News
The First National Sunday School Training Workshop
by Brian Sabourin
During the summer of 1994, I had the chance to tour America with Dr. Baughman and Dr. Kathy Winings for the purpose of conducting training workshops for CARP and Campus Ministry. One of the things we noticed during this trip was the widely varying state of our Sunday School programs. Depending upon where you were, members either had a very good program or no program at all.
Around this same time, True Father had assigned Jin Hun Nim to be responsible for the second generation education. So, when we returned from this trip and reported what we had seen, Jin Hun Nim asked us to begin the process of researching the means to improve the situation.
It was then that Kathy and I proposed the idea of a National Sunday School Task Force whose purpose would be to pull together the most experienced Sunday School teachers from the field to help develop a national-level Sunday School curriculum for our entire movement.
A number of very talented people were quick to lend their support. Laura Nebatani and Annie Paragjoekn from the Tarrytown Sunday School program volunteered to help develop the pre-K through 6th grade outlines. Sandra Lowen and Beverly Burnt lent their support to developing the junior high and high school programs. And Kathy Winings lent her professional teacher training skills to guide our many working where we struggled to come up with the basic structure and guidelines for setting behavioral objectives for each age level.
Before proceeding with the development of the curriculum, however, we realized that we needed to gather from the field all the available materials and course outlines that had been developed by our members over the years. With these materials at our disposal, and with clear behavioral objectives delineated from our numerous training meetings, we felt that we would be in a better position to develop a course outline for each age level that could really reflect a national effort.
Over the summer months Laura, Annie and Sandra became the main contributors to this task. By July, they had developed a modest, yet comprehensive outline that extended all the way from pre-k to high school. On this foundation, we now felt that we were ready to introduce these ideas and begin the process of providing a teacher training program to our national movement.
It was at this time, during the mid-summer months of this year, that both Jin Hun Nim and Rev. Joon Hyung Pak gave their full blessing to this program and encouraged us to go ahead with our plans. Letters were sent our from both the Unification Church National Headquarters and World CARP Headquarters offices to all Sunday school teachers, State Leaders, and Regional Leaders throughout America encouraging them to send their members to this first national Sunday School training workshop.
In the end, more than 100 people registered for this workshop. They came from all across America, often using their own money to pay for their flights and lodging costs. They came, I believe, because they all were motivated by the same unifying concern: to make a better educational Sunday School program for our children.
On the first morning of the seminar, the participants were greeted by Jin Hun Nim and Mr. Sung Am Moon who shared about the second generation workshop going on at that time in camp Sunrise. Later on that same afternoon, we also had the chance to hear from Rev. Pak who elaborated more on the purpose of Sunday School and our responsibility as teachers to carry on Father's tradition. All in all, the program proved to be a deeply enriching experience for all who attended.
As the program came to a close, each teacher was asked to develop their own materials and approaches to the curriculum based upon the outlines provided by the task force. Later this year, the task force will be contacting all teachers once again to ask for these newly developed materials. Then, based upon this new information, the task force will set about the job of combining all the information into one national course.
Finally, I would like to take a moment to express my thanks to the enormous efforts made by Kathy Winings, Laura Nebatani, Annie Paragjoekn and Sandra Lowen who single handedly worked to develop the first outline drafts. Without them, and without the help of the numerous teachers who sent in materials in support of our efforts, nothing would have happened. Thank you! And may God continue to bless your important efforts!
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