News & Inspiration

Building Faith One Question at a Time

BY: Anne Cullen

May 01, 2015

    Can you have two religions? It’s a fascinating question asked by one of our fifth graders during Sunday School.

    Recently I had the privilege of assisting in the fifth grade Sunday School class. With the Book of Common Prayer spread all over the tables, Mark Merritt masterfully led the class through a discussion on prayer. He explained different types of prayer and asked the children if they wanted to share who they had most recently been praying for (intercessory prayers). Mark even spent a little time exploring the role of prayer in a few world religions.

    In the middle of the discussion, a brilliant fifth grader asked the question, which made everyone think: Is it possible to know God in more than one way? A wonderful discussion occurred where the children thought about what they believed in. Mark referred to the passage in Romans: “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” You could almost see a physical shift occur, from initially knowing about their parents’ faith to beginning to claim their own.
    After learning more about prayers of praise, thanksgiving, adoration, intercession, penitence, petition, and oblation, the tweens partnered to write their own prayers, shared here unedited:

    Dear Lord, Thank you for this day, your beautiful creations, the canyons, the oceans, the trees, the plants, the churches and the animals. In Your Son’s name we pray, Amen.

    Dear Lord, I am sorry for people that lie, cheat or steal. I’m sorry for people that do not follow your commandments. I am sorry if I don’t do what I know I should do. I pray you will forgive me and everyone else. I hope we will do better in the future. In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.

    Dear Lord, Thank you for the wonderful food brought before us. Amen.

    Dear God, I am sorry for stealing money from my mom’s purse to buy an XBOX. I am very sorry but I won’t give it back. Amen.

    Dear Lord, Thank you for creating me and this beautiful world. I am thankful for being on Earth and getting to see all the beautiful things you created. In Your name we pray. Amen.

    As a community of faith, we are all called to “continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers.” That was clearly being demonstrated that Sunday morning.

    If you are looking for a place to interact with children asking brilliant questions, look no longer! We are now creating teaching teams for next year and would love to have you. Contact Anne Cullen at  or Katherine Vest at  for more information.

    Our most recent Sunday School tagline is “Building Faith One Bible Story at a Time.” Maybe it should say “Building Faith One Question at a Time!”