Vicki Jones Cole is a longtime student of Christian Science, who spent many years teaching Sunday School classes in Virginia and California, as well as twice serving in the capacity of Sunday School superintendent. Although presently a homemaker living in Virginia, Vicki worked in a variety of office and administrative positions in Washington, D.C., at The Mother Church in Boston, and in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.
Taking note of a decline in attendance at Christian Science Sunday Schools she visited, and a lack in some churches of willing or experienced volunteers to teach classes, combined with the closing of churches in certain communities, Vicki saw a need for Christian Science parents to take over the Sunday School education of their children. By then, she had her own two daughters, whom she taught Bible stories at home on a daily basis. However, her efforts to teach the “first lessons” of Christian Science – the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the Lord’s Prayer – felt hit-or-miss. She wanted to develop some kind of system or method that would help her cover all these lessons in an orderly and thorough manner – something more than just having her children memorize lines. If such a system could help her family, perhaps it could help other parents who needed to teach their children at home. With her many years of experience in teaching Sunday School, a large library of reference books on the Bible and Christian Science that she inherited from her mother, and her collection of articles from the Christian Science periodicals on both Sunday School teaching and the “first lessons,” Vicki decided to take on this project.
Since the publication of the first volume on the Ten Commandments in 2001, this trilogy of books known as First Lessons in Christian Science, has been well-received by both parents and Sunday School teachers. The lessons appeal to both children and adults who are seeking a deeper understanding of the “first lessons.”
FIRST LESSONS IN CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
Volume One: The Ten Commandments
Volume Two: The Beatitudes
Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer
This trilogy is a collection of “home Sunday School” lessons in Christian Science for parents to share with children and young teens. The books are also useful for those teaching Sunday School. The lessons provide an in-depth look at the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the Lord’s Prayer, which were designated by Mary Baker Eddy as the “first lessons” to be taught to young children in the Christian Science Sunday Schools.
The manuals are simple transcripts, easily removable from their covers. This non-permanent binding is necessary, because the lessons have been prepared in the form of “clip-and-carry” lessons, which may be copied, cut out, and used on-the-go for today’s busy families. The lessons can also be read directly from the book. The manual is perfect for parents or teachers with little time to do their own research, or for those who are simply looking for fresh ideas to teach.
Parents can read and discuss each lesson with their children, or the older child can read the lessons alone. Each lesson takes only a few minutes to read out loud, but will offer a prompt, or springboard, for further discussion. The lessons for the older children include ideas for putting that day’s lesson into practice, or suggestions for further study.
There are over 100 lessons in each book. Each line of the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and Lord’s Prayer is studied in detail. Each section starts with a couple of lessons for the little kids. The rest of the lessons are in question-and-answer format appropriate for a wide range of ages.
I believe Mrs. Eddy speaks to those of all ages, when she writes in the textbook: “The entire education of children should be such as to form habits of obedience to the moral and spiritual law, with which the child can meet and master the belief in so-called physical laws, a belief which breeds disease.”