We enjoyed our first Munch of the new school year on Monday. Our theme was Teddy Bears, and we drew our inspiration from a neat little board book that arrived at our house via the “Imagination Library”. The book by Olivier Dunrea, simply titled Little Cub, tells the story of a little cub growing up all alone in the woods with no one to teach or care for him. Ultimately, little cub’s story becomes interwoven with a lonely old bear who is very capable, but lonely. The two become a family and of course live happily ever after. The book highlights an important truth that is at the heart of our “Munch Ministry.” Younger generations need interaction with older generations so that they may glean from the wisdom of experience. Older generations find fulfillment not just in being able, but in being able to teach and pay it forward. http://www.amazon.com/Little-Cub-Olivier-Dunrea/dp/0399166831
The program began with a show and tell time in which the children brought up their favorite teddy bear (or other stuffed animal) and introduced him or her. A few shared precious stories about when or where they received the special friend, and some older children shared funny stories about things they had done with (or to) their toys.
After all of the children had shared, Cassie read the story about Theodore Roosevelt’s unwillingness to shoot a wild bear that had been tied to a tree. His unwillingness to shoot the bear in such an unsportsmanlike manner became a legendary story that inspired a toy maker to create the “teddy bear” in his honor. http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/site/c.elKSIdOWIiJ8H/b.8684621/k.6632/Real_Teddy_Bear_Story.htm
Following lunch, the children were gathered on a rug as three of our senior ladies shared stories with them. Mrs. Harriet Sue told the story of the last teddy bear she received from her mother before she died. She and her sisters sometimes exchange bears in honor of their mom’s memory.
Mrs. Maxine read the story of Little Cub to the children, reinforcing the beauty and great truth found in its pages. I elbowed her husband Jim as she read the pages about the sometimes grumpy old bear. 🙂
Mrs. Phyllis stole the show with the story of the teddy bear she and Mr. Bill have taken care of together for 55 years. The video of her bear living in the wild, and the story of finding him by a stream captivated the younger children, though a few wondered why the bear in the video had black fur, while the one in her lap was brown. Nonetheless, the story of how her children and grandchildren took care of the bear was priceless. As was her hope that someday great-grandchildren would come play with her bear.
This was one of our sweetest munches. It was such a blessing to witness three retired teachers, who no longer work in the Sunday school ministry, bless our children with their story telling ability. Their charisma with the children reinforced the value of creating alternative settings for inter-generational activities. It also displayed to the parents present the love our senior members have for our children.
The little cubs were blessed. The old bears were blessed. And the young and middle adult parents were blessed to be a part of this day that brought into fellowship a multi-generational cross-section of our church body. May God continue to pour His blessings on us as one generation passes His love on to another.