More of last week’s news…

When mentioning costumes for the 5th grade class I subbed for last week, I forgot to mention one other costume.  Or two, rather, though only one of them was in my class.  It is strange it slipped my mind because this boy was wearing a video-game-related costume which was very good.  He came as Mario, complete in the right colors with hat, large white cartoon gloves, and of course, mustache (though this piece kept falling off).  I mentioned to him that with his build he might have made a good Luigi too, but his costume did have the extra padding to make him pudgy ala Mario.  During the costume show, who walked across the stage with (I think) a third-grade class but Luigi, which from a distance also looked pretty good.  When our Mario waved to him I figured they were brothers, but when I asked him about it the only fraternal relationship was in the characters, so this just made for a cool coincidence.

I said I would mention Friday night, so I am finally getting around to it.  Friday night was our second annual movie night for 4th and 5th grade.  Last year we saw the excellent Meet the Robinsons.  This year was Bolt.  Having never seen this movie before I was looking forward to it even if I wouldn’t really get to see if I had to keep too much of a watchful eye on the kids (as it happily turns out, my fears here were unfounded and I was able to watch the whole thing).  Before the movie, however, there was game and pizza time.  This year they separated the boys and the girls so one group was playing games while the other ate.  We started out in the gym.  There was a fun game set up called “the gauntlet” but before we did that we warmed up with another game, link tag.  No, this has nothing to do with:


though that’s a hilarious Family Guy-esque video (click to see it in a larger size).  It is a game with one (or a few) runner(s) and one (or a few) tagger(s) with the rest spread out, standing linked in pairs.  At any time the runner can link up with one pair and the person on the opposite side would become a new runner so the pair doesn’t become a trio.  If the tagger tags the runner, the runner becomes the tagger and the former tagger links up with a pair and a new person becomes the runner.  I think we had played this before a couple of years ago, calling it squirrel tag.  After this game came- The Gauntlet.  This is just as insidious as it sounds.  The kids have to run through a course, going over or under as the course dictates, while trying to avoid getting hit by balls thrown by us leaders (heh, heh…).  If hit, they would have to go back to the beginning.  For those of you crying “aww, no fair for the kids,” don’t worry- they got their turn getting back at us.  I didn’t make it very far…

So for food time, we had pizza.  I was expecting the variety made in our church’s kitchen, but it turned out they ordered from Little Caesars.  The parents had to pay for this event, so why not?  This was the time where we leaders got to hang out with a few boys sitting together, thereby selecting our small groups for the end of the night.  After the boys grabbed their dinner, I waited a minute or so before grabbing my own and sitting down with four boys.  There were almost a dozen guy leaders, so the small groups were quite small.  There were more girls and fewer girl leaders present, so their groups I understand were a bit larger.  Did I mention this was an outreach event?  The kids were encouraged to invite friends who didn’t normally come to our church, so it turned out that two of these boys were such invitees.  In fact, both were invited by one of the other boys, but all four actually knew each other from school.  After a brief time in conversation with them, it was time for the movie.  We cleaned up and headed to the learning center where the movie was shown on two screens.  We were supposed to sit with our groups, but the boys kind of crowded together, so I sat in the row right in front of them instead.  Don’t worry, the seating was tiered and the screens high up besides so I didn’t block their view. 🙂

As I wrote, we were able to enjoy the whole movie with no more distraction than some kids going to the bathroom now and again.  They even provided popcorn for the whole movie experience.  Now, I typically say I don’t like popcorn all that much, but it is strange that I typically find myself eating it anyway, and this night was no exception.  While not in the same class as Meet the Robinsons IMHO, I still enjoyed this movie about a dog raised thinking his “human” was a spy constantly threatened by the evil Dr. Calico (with his evil cats of course) and that he was a superhero- managing to escape from his trailer, he heads out on a mission to save his human whom he thought was captured (they ended the day’s shooting on this cliffhanger) but in fact headed home as this was after all just a TV show no matter what Bolt was raised to believe.

Finally, Pastor Steve came out and talked a little, focusing on superheroes and how God is the only superhero.  It was just a bit more exciting than what I just wrote, but you get the idea.  We then broke into our small groups and talked some more about it, ending with handing out Gospel tracts that folds in several ways to reveal the message.  I actually picked up a fifth boy who hadn’t been selected already by another leader so I may have ended up with the largest boy’s group of the night.  I felt the discussion went very well.  The two visitors actually attended different churches, so they weren’t as green as expected in an outreach event, but that was okay as I’m sure everyone still picked up something from the small group, especially on sharing Christ with others if they had already had a relationship with Him.

It was a great night- I can’t wait for Winterblast in a few months- the overnighter at the church.  The only disappointing time was seeing another fifth-grade boy at the church with his mom for a single-parents meeting who chose to not attend movie night because the ones he wanted to invite were not in 4th or 5th grade, which I learned was sort of a limit in this event though not strictly enforced.