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Sunday school classroom dedication Sunday

by Christina Nelson

Even with the transformations churches have undergone in recent years, Sunday school education remains much the same.

“I think that Sunday school has remained very constant where worship style has changed dramatically,” said Pete Nelson, pastor of Carson Valley United Methodist Church in Gardnerville. “It’s the first place where children are introduced to the concept of God and a beloved savior, and it remains that.”

Nelson said he sees a lot of people who haven’t been to church in quite a few years return after they have children because they want their children to have the Sunday school experience.

Now, preschool and elementary school-aged children will have a brand new facility at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church to gather, play and learn about their religion.

The new, 2,000-square-foot addition to the church has been built for some time, but not finished. The church was waiting for additional funds before completing the Sunday school.

“We’re all just very excited about moving in to the new building,” said Joyce Williams, director of Christian education at the church.

The entire church facility is 14,500 square feet and was built in 1997.

“The adults are really excited about this because we have been doing Sunday school for the past year and a half in other spaces,” Nelson said.

“It will be wonderful to have this for the kids – the next generation,” he said.

Sunday school was held in the church’s conference room before. Now the children will have a new place to study, sing and do arts and crafts projects.

Now the room is almost empty, with some bookshelves, a piano, a table and other items scattered around. When Sunday school opens for business though, the church plans to use the bookshelves as partitions to make a couple of classrooms and allow for a large open meeting space.

Though the Sunday school will be continuing with its traditional curriculum, Williams said she hopes to get some new Bibles for the children soon.

The Sunday school, which has about 50 children participating, is for preschool and elementary school-aged children. In 6th or 7th grade, the children usually join a youth group, which will also hold meetings in the new facility.

Other community groups that have used the church’s facilities in the past will also be using the Sunday school wing on weekdays.

The facility cost the church about $10,000, but that was with a lot of volunteer help from members of the congregation.

“A lot of non-members, too,” Nelson said, “a lot of folks whose hearts are with God.”

The new Sunday school wing will have its grand opening celebration Sunday at 9:30 a.m.