It was a success! Happy day! Oh thankful joy.
We've done Intergenerational services before--you know, services that have the children and youth putting on a service for the adults And one Easter we did a kind of Multi-gen service where the children and youth stayed for the whole service, but we didn't really have all ages creating the service.
Today, well, we did. From the opening with fantastic drumming and an upbeat "prelude" of Gathered Here to the All Ages Sing-a-long choir that led the hymns. It was good. The piece that stood in for the homily was a break down of the word THANKS, T=thankful, H=hope, A=awe, N=naming your truth, K=kindness, S=spirit.
Six groups or people shared. Each person told about a time when the feeling they spoke about had been really alive for them. We had a family of four, youngest member age 4 share about one topic. There was an elder, a young mother, a middle schooler a woman in mid-life who recently climbed mount Kilamanjaro and an older elementary aged boy. All of these people spoke with eloquence and grace. Some of the deepest meaning for me came from the middle schooler and the 5th grader and the thoughtful things they shared.
We had some chatter from the little ones, but maybe it helped that I explained how our sanctuary is a holy place, and we have to be resepctful of that sacred holiness. I told them how I think of the holy being like if you were on a cliff looking over a still lake with mountiains across the lake and out of the forest near you stepped a deer. The deer munches for a moment, then looks up at you and almost....smiles. That's holy.
Or maybe the service was interesting enough.
Or maybe I was just up front and didn't hear too much chit chat because it was behind me.
It was a wonderful Sunday. And following the service we had a huge Thanksgiving Feast. Our official membership last UUA count was 142. At this feast we served 140 people.
That's a good day.
I'm thankful for the minister I serve with and her willingness to follow me on these tangents. I'm thankful for a Sunday Services chair who listens to me and trusts me. I'm thankful for an RE Council who stands by me and works hard to create dynamic, outreaching family ministry. I'm thankful for members and friends of the congregation who say "yes" when we ask them to share and lead. And I am deeply thankful to my own little family who helped to set up the feast and stayed for two more hours cleaning up after the feast. I hope they enjoy the left over turkey we got to take home. It's nothing in comparison to what they give.
I am deeply blessed. May we all be.