For the past nine years I served at my church, I have counted my blessings, especially as they have changed and made space for me to pastor while being a mother. When my son was born, he was one of few babies born. It’s hard to believe eight years later, we have had 10 babies born just this year. It is the presence of all these children that have motivated me to constantly evaluate and assess the way we worship so that the kids can participate by leading, learning, teaching, and feeling like an integral part of this faith community.
Today was the second Sunday living into our new worship format. You can read more of our journey in a previous post. One of the things I appreciate about the new format is that it gives space for spontaneity. During worship, one of the deacons told me that today was his daughter’s last Sunday before she heads off to college. He was wondering if there was a children’s sermon because he was going to get her to go up there with the kids – kind of marking this transition from kid to young adult. Now if you knew his daughter, Quinn, this would be exactly something she would do. She loves kids. In fact, she is THE go-to babysitter in our church. She is the Pied Piper of children with her charisma and gentleness. Quinn grew up in the church, one of the few kids at the time – so to know that she is at an age to go off to college is a blessings.
One of the casualties of the new worship format is the children’s sermon. So I could see that he was a little disappointed – not because he loves children’s sermons, but because of a desire to mark this occasion. In a spontaneous moment, I invited Quinn to the middle of the sanctuary and the other kids as well. Having the kids lay hands on her, we were able to bless her, pray for her, and mark this moment in not only her family’s life but the church who has nurtured her and supported her.
That afternoon, I was able to do a different kind of blessing. Members from my church had just given birth to twin boys. While Quinn was entering college, these boys had just entered into the world. I am grateful that my children had the opportunity to be exposed to Quinn and all her wonderfulness – teaching them the ways of church. And I look forward to the influence my kids will have on these twin boys and the other eight babies just born – welcoming them into the church as they were welcomed by this same community.