We present Generations of Faith sessions twice. Parishioners can attend a Friday night session starting with dinner at around 6, or Sunday afternoon starting with lunch around 12. This month our topic (in this year of prayer) was Thanksgiving.
I had a hard time preparing for the parent session for this. I'd written and presented three different talks already that week, so my head was pretty well spent, but really, I was kind of stumped as to how I was going to teach about giving thanks to adults for 45 + minutes. Like Super Grover's Mommy and her wise words about fighting, I imagined myself saying to the crowd "be thankful" and leaving it at that.
Anyway, on Friday night I went in to my wonderful parent group and started in. I'd already had a rough night and was blaming my performance on the tryptophan from the turkey we'd just had for dinner, or on Daylight Savings Time. The parents on Friday are SO wonderful- they go wherever I drag them to and are theologically thoughtful, willing to think about things in new ways, and (best of all) they laugh at all my jokes. I love working with this group and I think (hope) they can feel the amount of respect I have for them, their importance in their families and in the Church, and the hard work that their jobs entail.
Well, this time around I did a pretty rough job with the topic, taking them around the block to get next door and apologizing and making jokes at my own expense as I went. They were great and patient and good-natured, and one parent even told me later that I'd given her some things to think about. I had to laugh because at the end, as I was handing out supplies for our closing prayer, one parent said "aw, you're too hard on yourself, I thought you really pulled it out there in the end."
On Sunday, I re-wrote the whole lesson using a scripture story and did some lectio divina on Luke 17:11-19 and somehow managed to come around to the point that I'd tried to make on Friday. The Sunday parents are wonderful too, and I was so impressed by their willingness to look deeply at the scripture, to think about it in new ways, to consider different nuances to the story that they'd heard so many times. One parent said "I love how excited you get about this stuff!" and I consider that vindication for Friday's flop.