“If you are wondering what the benefits of Sunday school are in this secular world,” says Deborah Packer, Sunday school superintendent (and teacher), at Christian Science Church Canberra, then you should read an article by Katherine Ellis called Sunday school saved me, first published in the Christian Science Sentinel (April 24 2017 issue).
You’ll learn about an “ex-Sunday School student who found support and direction in her troubled life through regular attendance at a Christian Science Sunday School,” Deborah explains.
In the article, “Katherine tells how she was supported by the Sunday school teachers and how the teachings gave her a new outlook and a sense of being loved.”
Deborah was keen for us to republish this following abbreviated version, having obtained permission from the Christian Science Sentinel.
“When I was a teenager, my mother passed on and my father remarried. Adjusting to this was very difficult for me, and I descended into depression. The problem was not diagnosed, as it rarely was in those days, but I struggled with a great sadness that led to reckless behaviour.
Living in a large cosmopolitan city, I found many opportunities to put myself in harm’s way. Nights often found me wandering alone, and it was easy to get lost in the city and meet people who would take advantage of a lonely girl… More often than I care to recall, I put myself in dangerous situations, basically asking, waiting, for something to happen.
Only recently have I realised, with deep gratitude, how remarkable it is that I never met with violence during those wilderness years or fell victim to any unsavoury behaviour. Neither was I lured into the common pitfalls of drinking, smoking, or doing drugs. I credit Christian Science for this protection, because during this period I was attending a Christian Science Sunday School.
I loved the concept of God as both Father and Mother, from whom I could never be separated.
Looking back on my first experience of the Sunday School some years earlier, I remember seeing the words in golden letters high on the wall, “God is Love.”
These words were simple and immediate, and I could grasp them. Thus, began a growing understanding of God as divine love and of my own identity as a spiritual idea of Love. The God I was learning about was not wrathful or punishing, but tender and caring.”
As Deborah summarised, “With the support of the teachings, and the teachers, at the Christian Science Sunday School the depression left, her reckless behaviour ceased and her grades improved.”
A link to the full version of Katherine’s article is in a recent post on christiansciencecanberra.com where more information about the Christian Science Sunday School in Canberra can also be found.
Additionally, “New students up to the age of 20 are always welcome,” Deborah says.