The elementary (Levels II and III) children also began their time in the Atrium last week! We began with a review of how the Atrium is different from other learning environments and also how it is different from the Church. Then we spent time talking about how to “live well” in this space together. Finally, after hearing the Scripture, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11), the children were invited to bring a material to the mat that has helped them to understand what Jesus is telling them in this passage. Each group of children brought different materials but all related to either the parable of the “Good Shepherd” as found in the Bible or to the ways in which He laid “down his life” through the cross, the City of Jerusalem, through the saints who were martyred, in the gift of His light in Baptism and in His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, and many more. What a beautiful way to begin a new year in the Atrium!
Following their time recalling the “goodness” of the Good Shepherd, the returning children went right to work and the new children were quickly introduced to materials that engaged their interest. It was such a quiet and busy week! What a gift to be able to take time away to listen and speak with God through the use of so many beautiful and rich Scriptural and Liturgical materials!