Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm learning how to deal with a new computer.

When I learn how to upload pics to/from my new Mac laptop, I'll post my backlogs.
Target date: January 10.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chidren's Place in Church

Our parish has coffee hour in the crossing of our nave. It makes our church building feel much more like home.
Although our children don't do this during worship, I delight in the places our children are drawn to after the service.

Under the altar:

And under (and often in) the pulpit:

I believe grandpa God is chuckling.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Writing a Letter on a Torah Scroll

Recently I was part of a profoundly moving event. A trustee has donated a Torah scroll to Hillel at Kenyon College. This scroll was hidden during the Holocost by a Roman Catholic priest, and a few years ago was salvaged by a Rabbi whose life calling is to save and refurbish scrolls lost in the Holocost.

Around 100 of us were invited to write a letter of the scroll. The rabbi spoke to us beforehand about his calling, his group, and this scroll in particular. And then, he helped us write the a word on the scroll.

In Jewish understanding, writing a Torah is about as close to God as you can get. The Rabbi said that as we are writing our letter, we will be as close to God as the Rabbi that is giving offering in the most holy of holies (the most interior space of the temple). Jewish lore says that anything you pray for while writing a Torah will be heard and answered.

We said a prayer before we began, I washed my hands, and then together the Rabbi and I used a turkey feather quill and blessed ink to fill in several letters at the end of Deutoronomy on this scroll. It was a holy moment, and I am so thankful for having the gift of the invitation to do this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Profound Theology of Lilo and Stitch

At first I didn't like Lilo and Stitch. After watching with Charlie for a year or so, yesterday I was suddenly and profoundly moved by the story. Let's see if I can capture the revelation I had.

Lilo lives with her older sister as her legal guardian in Hawaii. They don't have a lot of money, and they have big noses. Lilo gets teased a lot, and her sister is stressed about keeping her job and having enough money to get by.

Aliens Stitch, Juma, and Pleakly move in with Lilo and her sister. Stich becomes Lilo's best friend.

Jumba is an "Evil Genius Scientist" and had for years created more and more evil experiment creatures to wreak havoc on the universe. Stitch is the last of his 626 experiments. Each experiment is catalogued by number and by it's evil ability. Jumba is now working for good with Lilo's team.

Pleakly is a 3-legged gender-bending neat freak. I think Pleakly is a boy, but he likes to wear Lilo's sister's clothes. He often also takes the role of mother hen of the extended earth/alien family.

Here comes the theology:
Lilo and Stitch are on a mission to track down all of the 625 Evil Experiments before the evil Dr. Hamsterweil does. Lilo has figured out that every experiment has "One True Home" where it's gifts are used for good.
There is a shredding experiment thats one true home is mowing the grass. And a too-much electricity experiment whose one true home is an abandon lighthouse that will always now have electricity. And on and on and on.

"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good." (Gen 1:31a)

I'm taking a Qi Gong course and two weeks ago the instructor told us to release the bad energy on our exhale and take in the good energy when we inhaled. It concerned me all week. I didn't want to be a litter-bug, sending out all sorts of bad energy into the world. So I asked him about it, and he told me the idea was that the energy was "bad" because it was in the wrong place, but when you release it into the universe, the universe gets it into the correct place where it is good and helpful energy.

So whether it's the bible, or a children's show, or a system of Chinese energy work: everything, in its proper place, is good. Amen!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Great Video: Ancient Mesopotamia

With 36 hours until showtime, I've found a great video for our Movie rotation for our All About The Bible rotation. It's called Ancient Mesopotamia. It's geared specifically for 3rd-6th graders, runs 23 minutes, and although a little hokey in places, it kept my husband and I interested and even taught us a thing or two. You can see a clip from it here.

Now, the only issue is we've got it on VCR and we only have setup for DVD. So much for a day off with Absolutely Nothing To Do. Jesus turned water to wine--surely a priest can turn VCR into DVD!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

St Francis Day Pet Blessing

Every year I've been a priest, I've lead a St Francis' Day service with a blessing of the animals. This year's event was the most well-attended. We had a total of 46 humans, a couple dozen dogs, and a few cats.

Everyone was well-behaved during the service. It is fun to watch pets and their owners find their spot for the liturgy. They seem to have an innate sense about how close they can be to others.

Although humans are physically far from one another, these pet blessings seem to me to be one of the more intimate services we have. There is something so precious about the bond between pet and human. I know my dog has often been a physical reminder for me of God--comforting me when I'm sorrowful, dancing for joy when I return home, convincing me to play and exercise when I get too wrapped up in work...

Thank you, God for all the animals in our lives.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sunday School Carpenters

The Art workshop for the "Jesus as a Child" workshop in WorkshopCycles is a carpentry project. The project as it was originally conceived didn't have much carpentry involved. However, I had A Great Idea. I decided our children should make wooden prayer benches, and found free directions (that seem to no longer exist). Here is another site with directions on how to make the prayer benches.

As the time drew near, adults were beginning to get nervous about combining children and power tools, and about the ability of the children to get this project done in the alotted time. However, since Charlie has helped Shawn with carpentry projects since he was 2, and since Shawn was leading the workshop, I was confident things would be fine.

We pre-cut and routed the wood, so the first things the children did were to put the legs in the grooves and sand the pieces:

Next, Sly helped the children used a drill press to drill pilot holes for the 4 screws that hold the legs on:

Some children also tried using hand tools to make the pilot holes:

They then screwed in the 4 screws and their benches were complete:

The workshop went wonderfully!! I was able to be around for it, and the students were very engaged in the project. It was a delight to see.

I had intended for the children to leave the benches here at the church, as a donation of their time and talent to the worship in this place. However, I forgot to make that clear to my husband. So the children took their benches home. Today, I heard that one student is now having her dolls pray.

What could be better!?!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rally Day

This is the first year we've done a Rally Day at church. After the service, we invited everyone downstairs to see our classrooms and interact with our curriculum. I didn't get any good photos of people visiting our Godly Play room, although they did. But here are some shots from our new Workshop Rotation room.

We're a small church and only have one multi-purpose room that we use for Workshop Rotation, so different areas have different feels.

This is the area which is also used for other groups during the week. It's a good "lounge" area and we have displayed our printed WorkshopCycles curriculum here for folks to examine:

(I have no idea why this is underlined...)
Next, we have the entrance to our Tent. Today, it is set up for a Computer Rotation. However, we use this space for many different things. It is a great place to read the story at the beginning of each Workshop. It is also a good place for drama, movement, and games.

As you can see, the students were very excited about showing us the Computer games they have been using.

All in all, a good day.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Multiple Intelligence Self-Test

Sunday is Rally Day at our parish. It's the first time we've done a Rally Day in who knows how long. We're doing it specifically to introduce the congregation to Workshop Rotation Model Sunday School, which we began 3 weeks ago. Workshop Rotation Model is based on the idea that people learn in a number of different way, called Multiple Intelligences.
I took this quick self-test and found out that my learning styles are as follows:
1) Intrapersonal
2) Interpersonal
3) Kinesthetic
4) Naturalistic
5) Musical
6) Linguistic
7) Logical
8) Visual/Spacial

Maybe one of the reason I am so excited about Workshop Rotation is because there are 5 modes I learn better in than Linguistic (the one traditional Sunday Schools use most).

What are your top learning styles? How about your children's?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Any Regrets?

When my husband and I had been married a few years, we took a group of youth on a mission trip. Near the end of the trip we went white water rafting and there was an accident. Half of our raft got thrown out in a Class IV rapids. The guide and I were able to get back in almost immediately. But a teen and Shawn were out longer. I watched Shawn tumbling and tumbling down the rapids in front of us, clearly not getting all the breath he needed. And the girl was stuck under the raft. All of us in the raft were holding on, feeling under the water for the girl. After what seemed like an eternity, the guide felt her paddle, pulled on it and got her back in the raft. About 100 yards down river, we caught up to my well-battered husband. I was the one that took hold of his life vest. I wasn't strong enough to pull him in alone. With the help of 2 others, we hoisted him in and he fell on me: bluish-white, bloody, and breathing ragged. But breathing! And no bones sticking out. Everyone was safe, thank God.

During the time that Shawn was tumbling in the river and I was watching helplessly, I had an amazing realization: There was nothing I regretted about our life together. There was nothing unsaid that needed to be said. There were no choices I would have made differently. If he were to die, I wouldn't grieve any choices I made.

Since that day, I have striven to keep this up. Regularly I will review my life and consider those I love and imagine one of us has died. Is there anything I would regret? If so, I try to shift my life so that I can always say at any moment, "there is nothing I regret."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Creating a Sunday School Tent

Today Penny and I met to redo our Sunday School area. We were on our 3rd plan of how to update this space:

We found these bright jewel tone fabrics at a great price, and made them into panels to make 2 sides of a tent:

However, as soon as we began fiddling, we realized there was no way our 3rd plan was going to work either. Luckily, Penny brought along her Favorite Handyman (to whom she happens to be married) and he got us all squared away. Instead of wall-to-wall bars to hang our curtain panels, he built a pvc structure:

We hung the fabric:
And voila!

I think the kids are really going to like it.

We had been planning to jump into our first rotation tomorrow (Computers). But we were so excited about our new space and our new curriculum that we thought the children might be as well. So we punted (AGAIN) and decided to spend tomorrow doing an introduction to WorkshopCycles and the elements in includes, like Shepherds, Workshop Leaders, Journaling, and the different workshops.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Five

I'm proud to say I'm now part of the RevGalPal Blogring (you can check out others by clicking on the sidebar).

One of the things they do is the Friday Five. This week, it's 5 things that have helped you on your spiritual journey. Here's my list, with a childcentric spin:

1. Book
I go back again and again to 2 series, Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series and C.S. Lewis' science fiction trilogy (Perelandra, etc). Each time I read them, I am reminded about God, humanity, and our relationships in wonderful ways. Wrinkle in Time can be read starting around age 7-8. I believe I first read Perelandra at age 13.

2. Music
Why Not Sea Monsters have created the world's greatest biblical-based music. They may be "children's artists" but their theology can stand up to many a ThD. If you haven't heard them, check them out NOW. Their song about Job had me weeping tears of joy. They are able to convey the overwhelming love of God in a way I've seldom heard.

3. Art
My own. We are all artists, and are able to understand a little bit about the creative aspect of God by being creative ourselves. Spend a little time with your kids and art this week!

4. Film
There's an old film, possibly made in the 1960s or 70s called The Music Box. It's about a hopeless man in a hopeless world. He finds a music box that brings joy into his life. He tries to hide the change in himself and also hides the music box. A really great band of funky singing angels come to share the joy and teach him to share. First his family, then his neighborhood, and then the world become hope-filled.

5. Unusual Engagement with Pop Culture
I love The Brick Testament. It takes (usually the goriest or sexiest) stories from the bible and tells them through legos. It has a rating systems for the stories, including N (nudity), V (violence), S (sex), and C (I'm not sure what C is for). Not for young children, but I would think that especially older boys might really enjoy it. However, parents may not want to have to try to explain these "stinky parts" of the bible to their children!

Now, post a comment and share your nominations in these categories.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Real New Year

Sunday school starts this week. Our preschool group has been using a modified Godly Play model for years, and it is still working well.

This year, we're beginning to use WorkshopCycles for our gradeschool Sunday School. It's a WHOLE LOT of work to get up and running, but I think it's going to be a fantastic program.

Our Sunday School Space currently looks like this

We are hoping to change the boarder, add better lighting, add cubbies, and make a 2-sided tent around the rug of brightly colored fabric hung from rods attached to the wall. Oh, and some pillows or meditation benches for sitting upon.
This area will be used for story telling, drama, and other similar activities.

For journaling, computers, and some of the art activities, we'll be here at the nearby table.

For our kitchen workshops, we'll be working several blocks away in our Parish House kitchen:

And our first art (carpentry) project will be these benches. FUN!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One woman's struggle with perinatal death

A friend at my last church has given me such a blessing by sharing with me the story of her daughter that died in utero, and how she continues to remember and deal with it. On both of my birth plans, it said to call her in case of any serious problems. I've referred other women to her when they were grieving a baby's death.

Here's her post about it. Please pass it on.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

To polish his tarnished reputation

I feel I need to share a few more quotes from C, so that you know the kind of kid he normally is. I don't want you to get the wrong impression of him from the previous post.

Tonight he was washing his hands getting ready for bed, and wasn't standing on his step stool, so I helped him reach the soap. He said, "Thanks mom. I appreciate you."

Yesterday as we were hanging out in the evening, he turned to me and said sincerely, "You're a good mom."

Man, I love this kid!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Were Rodgers and Hammerstein Wrong?

I've mentioned that we've had lots of house guest recently. Charlie is about at his limit. Our last small guest left today. This morning, Charlie was yelling for me and when I arrived he said, "I hate her!" When I asked why, he said "Because she has long hair. She is different."

WOW. Talk about prejudice, xenophobia, or almost any sort of -ism!
"Hate" is a very strong word in our house. We never use it for people. So Charlie was really saying something strong.

Later, Shawn explained to me that the visitor didn't get along well with Charlie's friend M who had been over to play. And Charlie took M's side and stood up for her, and it came out as "I hate that girl because she has long hair."

When we got the full story, we helped Charlie put other words with it that were more accurate. He and the new friend made up, and things were good.

But my professor has been singing this song in my head all day:

ARTIST: Rodgers and Hammerstein
TITLE: You've Got to Be Carefully Taught
Lyrics and Chords

You've got to be taught to hate and fear
You've got to be taught from year to year
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a different shade
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught before it's too late
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught
You've got to be carefully taught

Monday, July 30, 2007

Teaching Envrionmental Sustainability with Salsa

On Thursday, the Kenyon Conference Kid's Program learned about Environmental Sustainability by visiting an organic farm, learning about Worm Poop and using vegetables from that garden to make salsa:

Not only did the kids have a great time learning about taking care of natural resources and eating locally, they also made a really FANTASTIC salsa. There were 3 tables, so one made mild, one medium, and one hot.

Here's our recipe:
4 medium tomatoes or 4 handfulls of cherry/grape tomatoes
1/2 medium onion
1/2 green pepper
1 clove garlic
(for medium salsa, add 2 spicy banana peppers. for hot salsa, add 1 spicy bananna pepper and 1 jalapeno)
Chop all into small but varied-sized pieces. mix in bowl.
1 TB fresh parsley or other green herb
3-4 pinches salt
3-4 pinches sugar
juice from 1/2 lime.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Workshop Rotation MDGs

The Episcopal Church is very interested in the Millennium Development Goals
I'm helping with the Children's Program at this year's Kenyon Conference, and we are doing Workshop Rotation Model with the MGDs for the children this year. It's fun and exhausting, and really delightful what the children are teaching us.

Here is Tracy from LeaderResources teaching our preschoolers about how girls fetch water in other parts of the world.

And here is my Charlie playing a great game the kids did using small cups going to a "river" (blue tarp with pan of water) and returning to fill up a gallon jug.

And here is Charlie at the Elevation. Since he was just over 2, he has broken crackers or cookies or whatever he has and wants us to say, "Alleluia, Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us...Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia."

The kids just LOVE playing church. Surprisingly or not, it seems to be the kids whose parents are in full-time ministry that always want to play the part of priest. But even the kids who aren't jostling to be preist are still very engaged in the play.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Charlie's First Tomato

We did a little container gardening this year for the first time. We have planters on our deck, and we eat dinner their most nights. Every night, Charlie will show us each plant and the new growth on it.

By helping care for these plants, Charlie is learning the basics of caring for another. He can see the results if we forget to water it, or if caterpillars start eating them. And he can see what happens when he chooses to help the plant by watering it or picking off the bugs.
The things he's learning this summer at 3 1/2 with plants will grow into an ability not just to take care of plants, but to take care of pets, nurture friendships, and someday be a caring, helpful partner.

900 Messages a Day

Educators, parents and others get fairly anxious when they realize that average child see or hears 900 messages from the media and advertisers each day. They agonize over ways to counter those messages. Suddenly this week I had an epiphany:

God gives us way more than 900 messages a day, if only we attend to them.

I realized this after I had called Charlie away from his play to look at a tiny down feather I found on our deck. It was blue near the quill, beige in the center, and brownish red at the top. It was beautiful and tiny, and I wanted to share it with someone. The next day as we were walking out to the car after a rain, I saw that the moss on our fence post had bloomed, and we got out of the car to look at it, and compare it to the moss on the other fence posts and generally take some time looking at really tiny things.

We are surrounded by beauty and miracles. We can choose to attend to them, and encourage our children when they do. That is how to counter 900 media messages.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Amazing Prayer Request

Charlie had a rough night tonight. Being 3 1/2, it seems he sometimes just needs to melt down. He lost it just before he and Shawn were to play their nightly ritual of "Tickle Monster" which involves running around our king bed, lots of "ug!" and "Ha!"s and much giggling.

They went downstairs to get calmed down, and as that was happening, baby Luke fell asleep and I put him in our Amby (which was Charlie's until a month ago).

Poor Charlie, when he came upstairs ready to go, they couldn't play Tickle Monster because baby Luke was asleep in our family bedroom. And to add insult to injury, he was sleeping in (Charlie's) Amby.

Charlie cried some, but was able to hold it together. We snuggled into his bed and I asked him what he wanted to pray for. The one thing he said?

"Thank you that baby Luke grew in your belly and came out."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Luke's Baptism

Luke was baptized on Sunday, and it went beautifully! When it came time for the baptism, the congregation sang Wade in the Water and then we all walked over to a statue of a couple of dancers where an empty bowl and a whole lot of small watering cans sat.

After the questions and prayers, it was time to add water to the baptismal bowl/font. The children were invited to do this, and we talked about how God's love for us is overflowing just like this bowl of water. Then the children joined me in blessing the water.

Oh, yes. And one of Luke's Godmothers couldn't make it to the service so we called her on my cellphone which I had in my breast pocket under my stole. Luke could hear her singing and responding, and kept wanting to grab the phone and talk to her.

Even though the water was very cold, Luke enjoyed being baptized and sealed with holy oil. Then, at the peace I told the children that it is traditional to sprinkle the congregation with the blessed water after a baptism. It didn't take long until the bowl was empty!
What a joyful baptism.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Baptism Preparation

Baptism Preparation is one of the areas where clergy often have strong feelings, and divergent practices. Some clergy believe that parents and godparents need to go thru hours of instruction before their children may be baptized. Others believe that anyone who wants to be baptized (or have their children baptized) should be allowed to, no barriers at all. I know few clergy who are on the fence about this.
I used to fall into the first catagory. I now fall into the second catagory. I won't go into the theological arguments I've used for both positions. I've got a clergy group for that!

We're preparing for Luke's baptism on Sunday. He was born last August. Our church worships outside in the summertime, and I think it's delightful. So we decided to wait until summer to baptize Luke in the beauty of creation.

Preparing for this baptism makes me realize how much I've grown and changed since Charlie's baptism 3 1/2 years ago:

Then, Charlie was baptized on the first Holy Day to arrive, when he was 6 weeks old
Now, Luke is being baptized, oh, sometime, summerish, when some friends and family can come for a visit...

Then, motherhood was rocking my world and I was not catching on.
Now, mothering 2 doesn't really seem to be any more difficult than mothering 1 (thanks to an AMAZING husband, and a great job!!!!)

Then, I was Determined to be Only Charlie's Mother and not a clergyperson at the baptism.
Now, I am Determined to be Luke's mother answering the questions on his behalf, and ALSO the priest blessings, baptizing, and sealing baby Luke.

Then, Charlie's baptismal outfit was lovingly made by my mom before he was even born.
Now, last night I just realized that we don't have an outfit for Luke this Sunday. (We pulled out Charlie's, which was huge on him at 6 weeks, and we think we might be able to squeeze Luke into it at 10 months!)

Then, I was Mommy OR Priest OR Wife OR Friend, Or Or Or Or.
Now, I am Mommy AND Priest AND Wife AND Friend and and and and.

Thanks be to God.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Immitating Christ

Last night, Charlie came up to me while I was working on the computer. "Mommy! Mommy!" He clearly wanted me to look at him.
There he was, face squnched up, one eye closed, and working on his fingers. He's working...he's working...there. He's got a "thumbs up" on the left hand and a "gun-pointer" on the other hand.
He's holding the pose...and it's... Buddy Christ, from the Dogma movies.

We have lots of different Jesuses around the house. Earlier in the day, he climbed onto a pew in the corner of our dining room to look more closely at an icon an EFM frend wrote of Jesus as a child with Joseph. And we've got The Brick Testament's (some scenes not suitable for the young or prim) Holy Trinity which is another favorite of ours.

We've got lots of images of Jesus around the house, just like we've got multiple images of Grandpa Charlie (who died before the kids were born), or friends that we rarely see. It's a little sign that God is a part of our lives just like these other friends and family.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bedtime Prayers

Charlie and I have a simple bedtime prayer routine. It used to be that I'd give the topic and he'd fill in the details. But these days (it's a 3 1/2 yo thing), he wants me to do the whole thing. It's a simple Thanks, Confession, Supplication, Adoration formula:
"Dear God,
We thank you for all the blessings of this life (fun things today, list of friends, list of family).
We are sorry for everything we've done wrong. We know you forgive us and will help us do better when we ask (sometimes mention something specific here--usually MY confession)
Please be with everyone who is sick or sad or lonely, especially _____. For the people who are sick, make them well. For the people who are sad or lonely, make sure they know you are with them, and give them a friend. Help us to be friends too.
Give us a good night's sleep (any special intentions for ourselves).
We love you God, and we know you love us.

More recently, I've tacked the Lord's Prayer onto the end of it because I realized he needed to learn it at home and this seemed like the most logical way to do it.

The other night we were praying for a friend of mine who is an amazing teacher and doesn't know where she'll be working next year. So I said, "Be with __ who wants to teach, but doesn't have a place yet." Charlie stopped me and said, "She could teach kids to ride bikes!!!!" I told him she really likes math and would like to help kids learn to work with numbers. Then Charlie began counting to the tune of the ABCs and it was clear he somehow felt he was helping her by doing this.

Praying with your child is an amazing thing!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Are those pictures of God?

Yesterday I had Charlie and one of his friends with me and I needed to stop by the church. The college (they own the building) is having the stained glass windows repaired. So I was showing them where the windows had been removed and they just left white paper instead. Charlie's friend looked around at the windows and said, "Are these pictures of God?" "No, they're friends of God."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Godly Play

Our younger children's Sunday School uses Godly Play. They have used it for a generation (our youth group were the first kids to use it). Last year, we did a major re-vamping. One person was in charge of updating the room and keeping the supply boxes in good order. Another person was in charge of scheduling the stories, teachers, and shepherds. And we had about 10 people involved as teachers and shepherds. This spread the work out so that no one became exhausted with their task, the parents knew much more about what was happening in Sunday School (because they all took part in one way or another), and it was simply a really great year.
Thanks to the dozens of people who helped out this year!

Monday, January 15, 2007

"The Spirituality of Parenting"

I've always been a fan of the radio program Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett Recently, I listened to the episode entitled "Spiritual Parenting" and it inspired me to begin this blog. If you are a parent, grandparent, caregiver, or godparent I encourage you to find an hour to listen to this on your computer (at work, while surfing the web, while reconciling your checkbook) or on your MP3 player (in the car, while working out, while waiting for your child's practice to finish).
This segment is an interview with Rabbi Sandy Sasso. I have several of her children's books in my collection, and loved their beauty and insightfulness the moment I saw them. For her, spirituality is both simple and enormous, challenging and embracing, joyful and serious.
I hope that you make the effort to multi-task this podcast into your life over the next few weeks, and then take a moment to respond here about your thoughts.

The best Kid-Friendly Service yet!

Harcourt Parish had a fantastic Kid-Friendy Service on the morning of Sunday, December 24th. Children were an active part of our simple Eucharist which began with all the children processing pieces of the crèche to the front. After some singing, Amy (Ella's mom) read “The Nativity” storybook as our gospel. Next, all children were involved with our Christmas Pageant. Tarin, Kennedy, and Mark played a family with questions about the nativity and various other youth and children were our manger scene answering their questions. Prayers of the People included coloring pages and fill-in-the blanks. Parents were encouraged to take these home and complete them with their children as an aid to prayer in the home. Children then sang “The Little Drummer Boy” with the older children singing the words and the preschoolers singing the ‘pa rum pa pum pum’s. Children were then invited to come forward for the Eucharistic Prayer and were very well-behaved while behind the altar. Most children took part in the elevation and were able to lift up their own host (bread) as Rector Helen lifted the wine at the concecration.

Several pre-schoolers have been asking to come to church since, and at least one has decided that behind the altat is the proper place for him to be during the Eucharistic Prayer (even if it makes his mom--me--nervous)!