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!