Dear Church Family, "Rally Day" will be on Sunday, Sept. 10th. What's Rally Day? It's the official start to a new year of Sunday School. Or so it once was, and so we'd like it to be again. At Christ the King we offer Sunday School year 'round, "nursery through adult," we claim. But come September, we get serious about it.

So allow me to be serious about it in this column. Sunday School is in real trouble here and in many churches throughout the country. Why? Too many claims upon our time even (or "especially"?) on Sunday morning when religious education is still most often offered to our children. But it's not working. Alternatives such as Wednesday night classes have been considered and tried without much success. Overscheduled families also need some down-time for each other.

Maybe you've heard me say, "the only reason we don't have a large Sunday School is be
cause kids can't get driver's licenses." It always surprises me when a child tells me he/she wants to come but the parents always have something else they have to do. I'm not trying to impose guilt here. Not totally. But then most of us give in so easily to our kids' other requests. Why not this one?

Maybe if we gave out prizes, or tried some other gimmick. No, Lutherans don't go in for that sort of thing. Perhaps indulgences?

Confirmation classes also begin on Rally Day. Their class is usually a good size. But they have a built in incentive: light at the end of the tunnel on Confirmation Sunday.

And the Adult Forum at 9:15 each Sunday (currently watching and discussing some provocative DVDs on Luther and the Reformation)? We gather because we're adults who know that learning with and from others is fun.

Be sure to show up, with your whole family, on September 10th. And enjoy a pancake breakfast before or after class.

Still learning with you, Ron