The Compendium of the Church Mice, the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod’s free, year-long Sunday school curriculum, has released its content for the 2013-14 season.
The Compendium is based upon the work of the four winners of the Marks of Mission Sunday school curriculum contest—Kate Newman of Vancouver, B.C., Janet Cress and Nancy Wilcox of Binbrook, Ontario, and Kate Saunders of Richmond, New Brunswick. They worked together to create an outline for a year-long Sunday school curriculum that would engage children of all ages, built on the framework of the Marks of Mission.
Kate Newman developed that outline into a full curriculum, bringing her broad experience in children’s ministry and the arts to bear. The result is a curriculum that includes arts and crafts, games, puppetry, theatre, and more.
Newman, who holds a master’s degree in education, is a mother of two and has been working with young people for 12 years. Along with her work at St. John’s Shaughnessy in Vancouver as youth ministry coordinator, she is a fine arts instructor in the public school system. Newman has also been part of the Vancouver arts scene in both live performance and visual arts—including a recent exhibit of her digital illustration for children.
The Compendium includes “Seasonal Big Ideas” to help introduce children to the seasons of the church. Each church season—Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week/Easter, Pentecost, and Advent/Christmas—is tied to a specific Mark of Mission. Sunday schools are encouraged to choose one “big idea” for each season—be it one of the suggestions offered by the Compendium, or one of their own-that involves an intergenerational community event.
There are also year-long challenges that give simple ways to involve the church community in what the Sunday school is doing on a continual basis. They are creative challenges than can be completed easily, and are meant to help create community among Sunday schools on a local level, and across Canada.
The Compendium of the Church Mice comes packed with support for Sunday school teachers. It includes a detailed guide on how to use the Compendium, weekly lesson plans, a full calendar, and planning tools to help teachers prepare before their Sunday school year begins.