Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Simplicity

It was a very good day at church. Earlier this year when we began the "Chalice Chapel" children's worship time and the "Service Sunday" monthly service project I was nervous that things wouldn't flow well, that the interruption in weekly classes would be too disruptive, that we'd have absolute chaos in our "fellowship hall" that really looks just exactly like a gym.

But it's worked out so well. Every month we worry if we'll have enough of the right things to do. We try to have something crafty that the kids who like to use glue and paint and *gasp* glitter can do. And we try to have something solid and intellectual that the deep thinkers like to do. These do not divide along age or gender. They are simply interest based, and sometimes everyone hits every station and sometimes we have stalwart hard core crafters that stay in one spot for the whole session.

This month we launched our delayed "Guest at Your Table" unit. Since it was Superbowl Sunday it was a nice cozy group. On Chalice Chapel/Service Sundays our babies stay in the nursery, and our Story Time class of 2s and 3s go to their little room outside the downstairs ladies rest room, but the rest of us are all together.

Today we sent our Middle School class off to see the local "high church" over at University Unitarian Church in Seattle for a visit to see just what a "bell choir" and "organ" sound like, so our ages were a little closer. We had 3 up to 12, but no 14 year-olds.

The little "Chalice Chapel" was just absolutely lovely. We opened with a nice litany for a chalice lighting, with all reciting the italics together:

We light this chalice

When we come together
We light this chalice
In good times and bad
We light this chalice
For those who are alone
We light this chalice
For people who are scared
We light this chalice
For mothers and babies who are hungry
We light this chalice
For fathers and children who are cold
We light this chalice
Working to make things fair and good for everyone
We light this chalice

And then we talked about human rights. And do you know what they said? It started with 'food, water, shelter' then on to school, work and equal rights. Little kids, people. These were little children. They get it. They really get it.

Then we sang a song I learned at LREDA Fall Con.

Walking, walking with you. Walking with you is my prayer.

It's a zipper song. So pretty soon it was "eating, working, singing, worshiping, drawing", and my favorite "forgetting".

We ended with this prayer.

adapted from the words of Dawna Markova
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live, so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom
goes on as fruit.

Then it was on to the service project. One station assembled the boxes and set up the "Stories of Hope" forms. One station made little mats to set your GAYT boxes on during the month. One station was for making statements or drawing pictures about human rights for the Kid's Page of the newsletter (OK no one did this one and I still have nothing for that page next time, darn) and one station was making popcorn to raise money to fund our "Service Sunday" projects. They loved making the mats and some of them just love making popcorn every month. They take turns stirring, and sprinkling salt. They decorate paper bags to sell it. They melt butter. Simple is so good. We can't forget that in ministry to and with children. Simple is good.

So, there we were. We'd learned about human rights. We'd worshiped together. We'd made beautiful music together. We'd worked together. We sat and ate a good soup lunch together. It was a prayer. And it was blessed.

I hope I can always notice when the glowing light of the spirit shines right down on me, and I am lucky enough to be just this blessed.


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