Everything Old Is New Again

by Mary Johnson, Director of Children's Ministries

There's an old song titled "Everything Old is New Again." It's from the musical The Boy From Oz, which I have to confess I've never seen nor do I know much about it. But I did think of the song from the show recently. It came to mind as I was meeting with teachers of All Things Bright and Beautiful to order supplies for the upcoming school year.

The comment was made that so much of what we have is old and we need some new things to liven up the classrooms. I thought about it for a minute and then suggested to the staff that everything in the classrooms, though "old" to them will be brand new to the children coming into the room at the start of this school year. With brand new imaginations, new dynamics of interactive play, and new opportunities for exploration everything will take on a new life. This whole new group of children will make all the "old" seem "new" again! And I am very excited about that.

I think the same expression can apply to my experience on Sunday - or any other time - that I attend the Eucharist. It is all very familiar; the readings of the day, the exchange of Peace, the Communion, and the familiar hymns. However it becomes very new each time depending on those I am seated near. With the exception of my husband, Cary, there are new folks to greet and enjoy this community as together we take part in the liturgy. Everything "old" is "new" again!

Which is not to say that there aren't any new things....and new people... around here! People first! Our newest staff member for ATB&B is Miss Julia Parkin. (Yes, you do recognize the name....) She will be co-teaching the Junior Kindergarten Class with Mrs. Connie Fapka. In addition to teaching Junior Kindergarten, Julia will teach two Enrichment classes; French and X-Plore More. Both classes are just two of the new Enrichment classes being offered this year.

In addition to studying French in high school and college, Julia spent part of a summer living with host families in both the Provence region and near Paris. Julia has verbal fluency with the language as well as an understanding of French culture. With her appreciation for French food, music, film, and literature Julia is excited to share her love of the language and culture with the children of ATB & B. A graduate from Northwestern University in 2010 with a Master's in Education, previously having received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Barnard College at Columbia University, Julia was program assistant at The Village Well community program in San Francisco where she created art and music exploration experiences for children aged 1-5.

After having received her Master's degree, Julia taught preschool through second grade in a multi-age classroom at the Chicago Friends School that implemented a child-centered curriculum founded on principles of equality, community, and integrity. We are extremely fortunate to have Julia and her amazing talents and experiences to share with us at ATB&B.

The new things around here are the fresh coat of paint and the new carpet right inside the front entry and on the stairs and both hallways of the second floor. It's a fresh new look and I'm so grateful we were able to have this work done.

So we'll see you soon. Whether at ATB&B or around here on Sunday, I am very excited about the new year. I hope you are too!