September Focus – EDUCATION
Moravians: A History of Education
Did you know that the “Father of Modern Western Education” was a Moravian? Revolutionary in the seventeenth century, the educational ideas and techniques of Moravian bishop Jan Amos Comenius (1590-1672) have guided educators for more than 300 years.
Comenius placed high priority on the teacher-student relationship. His holistic teaching drew on students’ natural abilities to inspire their curiosity and guide them to paths of wisdom and knowledge. Even putting pictures in schoolbooks to aid learning was Comenius’s idea!
Comenius saw education as vital to the shaping of the whole human: mind, body, and especially soul. He believed that human beings benefit from three sources of knowledge—the Bible, the “Book of Nature,” and the accumulated wisdom of humanity—with God as the single author.
Our Moravian ancestors used Comenius’ methods. In keeping with his principles, they educated both boys and girls—a radical practice in the eighteenth century. Salem Academy & College, born 250 years ago as the Salem Female Academy, is just one of many schools created because of the Moravian commitment to education for women.
Today we face new challenges to education, to faith, and to critical thinking. What works best today to teach about Faith, Love, and Hope? Are there new educational activities we should explore? Are some of our older methods no longer as effective? What is the best way to incorporate new technologies and maintain vital teacher-student relationships? We look forward to exploring these questions together in the year to come!
̶The Christian Education Committee
● for students, teachers, and staff of our nearby schools:
- Salem Academy & College
- Winston-Salem State University
- UNC School of the Arts
- Wake Forest University
- Diggs-Latham Elementary School
- The new Arts-Based Elementary School on the old Diggs campus
- Salem Montessori School
● and for those in all schools everywhere
● by volunteering at Diggs-Latham or another school
● by teaching or assisting in Sunday School or Godly Play
● by seeking or offering ideas for small groups, book groups, classes (contact DCE Gus Chrysson at firstname.lastname@example.org)
● by exploring new ideas and methods that use technology in a way that builds relationships
● to Imprints Cares, a local ministry giving out books for ages birth-5 in local pediatric offices
A Message from Our New Director of Christian Education
Dear Friends in Christ,
I am delighted to be with you as we highlight the essential, life-giving ministry of Christian Education. As I begin to get acquainted with everyone at Home Church, I invite us all to reflect on a few themes.
First, we are all lifelong students (disciples!) of the Master Teacher and Chief Elder, Jesus Christ. At the same time, we are called to be imitators of Christ, meaning that we are never just students. We are also teachers and bearers of the Word to everyone we encounter along the way.
This both/and spirit of lifelong learning is rich with possibility: in Godly Play, youth group, adult Sunday school, choir, and budding small groups! We are all the “target audience” of Christian Education, at every stage of life.
At this pivotal moment, when the re-gathering church is re-imagining nearly every aspect of ministry, my prayer is that we ask bold questions and dream big dreams about Christian Education. We can be confident that the Holy Spirit will guide us into new methods and approaches. Please know that I welcome your ideas, and I look forward to hearing from you!