31st January was an interesting and different training morning for 70 volunteer scripture teachers and trainees, 19 visitors from as far south as Macksville and 51 locals. Attendees ranged from young university or TAFE students, to part-time employees and active senior retirees.

Teaching methods devised for use alongside GodSpace lessons were described and demonstrated by four experienced CCSM teachers. Elgar Starkis makes PowerPoints of great artworks depicting Bible stories and uses drama and quizzes. Volunteer teachers were the actors in an entertaining demonstration of one of his dramas.

To encourage children to think about the lessons, Grant Geytenbeek shows photos of modern-day Biblical cities and invites the children to suggest how different they would have been in Bible times. Teachers volunteered to take part in his humorous version of Eddie Maguire’s quiz show, without the million dollar prizes of course.

“Oohs”” and “ahs” were heard as Pat Harwood demonstrated five eye-catching and memory-jogging visual props to teach a Bible verse. Some decided to go home and make their own.

Simple dress-ups and role-plays are Jenny Newans’ favourite way of helping children imagine and remember the real-life stories of Jesus. Her wise advice on how to do this without causing chaos and disorder in the classroom was based on years of experience. “I’m a Maths teacher, not a drama person. If I can do this anyone can!” Jenny told us.

Scripture classes are off to a good start in 2018.