From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCA Introduces Chapel Resource for Early Childhood Centers

From NEWS <>
Date 09 Oct 1998 14:17:51


October 9, 1998


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- "Who Will Teach Me Chapel?" is a new resource from
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Division for Higher Education
and Schools, developed specifically for the nearly 2,000 early childhood
education ministries throughout the ELCA.
     Written by the Rev. Carla J. Meier, Trinity Lutheran Church and
Nursery School, Valley Stream, N.Y., "Who Will Teach Me Chapel?" has a
Christian theme for each month and a corresponding Bible verse.
     "As a parish pastor, chapel time consists of some of the most
rewarding, energizing and fun minutes of my week.  No matter how busy the
week or how many phone calls waiting to be returned, chapel time is
precious time for me, for our school staff, for the students, their
parents, and for our entire congregation," said Meier.
     "Chapel time lasts approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  It occurs in our
schedule at the end of a two hour and 45 minute school period, which allows
parents to come to chapel and then pick up their child to head home," she
     "We are committed to assisting these ministries in providing quality,
developmentally-appropriate experiences as well as opportunities to meet
and know Jesus," said John J. Scibilia, director for schools in the ELCA
Division for Higher Education and Schools.
     "It is not 'what' we give children.  Rather, it is 'Who' we give
children that makes a difference in their lives," he said.
     "Spiritual development is not isolated from intellectual, emotional
and physical development.  Children do not pigeonhole their life
experiences," said Scibilia.
     "It is hard to describe the joy upon hearing a three- or four-year-
old child say that Christmas is about Jesus' birthday instead of Santa or
that Easter is about Jesus being alive instead of bunnies," Meier wrote in
the preface of the resource.
     The chapel time follows a simple outline of theme and Bible story,
songs, and the Lord's Prayer or another prayer.  There is also an emphasis
on the season of the church year, its colors and its symbols.
     The resource is dedicated to the Rev. Delbert Schulz, an advocate for
Lutheran schools who died in 1998.  "His commitment and partnership with
his local, regional and national peers maintained a framework and
foundation on which Lutheran schools continue to benefit and from which new
schools find life as they spring forth.  The spiritual growth and
foundation of children was extremely important to Del's life and ministry,"
said Scibilia.
     The ELCA Division for Higher Education and Schools developed the
resource with the help of a grant from Aid Association for Lutherans.  AAL
is a fraternal benefits society based in Appleton, Wis.

For information contact:
Frank Imhoff, Assoc. Director (773) 380-2955 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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