What a nice day at church, today. Busy, busy, busy as always. We have quite a run of kids turning seven, so today we had another "Chalice Child" lighting the chalice for the first time. This young lady wore a beautiful full white gown and filled the altar with the things she loves (namely American Girl dolls and horses, horses horses!). Her family celebrated with the congregation by bringing a huge rose covered sheet cake, and then went out for a special lunch with friends afterward. I love this tradition we have. It's such an honor to stand before the congregation with the child as they are formally introduced to their church. I get to whisper to them "OK, sign your name right here in the chalice lighter's book, now light the candle, now we just smile at Rev. Peg....OK! Great job, you can go sit with your folks!" It's very special, such an honor.
Then following the service we had another congregational meeting, more steps to buy this building. Knock on wood everyone, it's looking more and more like it might actually happen. Or prayers. We'd love prayers. And if someone wants to have a bake sale and sponsor a stock pot for the new kitchen or paint for a classroom, heck, we'd take that too! During these meetings I try to release all the teachers so that they can go participate in the life of the congregation. For meetings we know will go long I arrange for adult children of members to come provide child care, or other members of the community who are not official members. But this one we guessed would go 20 minutes, maybe 30. Not a big deal. And winter attendance is usually kind of low. So I figured we'd just handle it.
All the classes released their kids to the fellowship hall, and we watched a movie. I'd had some superb help popping four batches of popcorn from a fine five-year-old and his stuffed husky, so we watched a video about wild animals and ate popcorn. I recruited the middle schoolers to help--one stationed at the door that goes outside to prevent escapees, one at the food table helping kids get popcorn (and squirting the hand sanitizer!) and a couple roaming and helping. Part way through the video we ran out of popcorn--so the older girls went off to fire up the air popper. It was so nice. I love those low key moments with our kids; shared community, shared time. Just hanging out. I know soon we'll be too big to do this kind of thing on a regular basis, but I hope we find a way to keep hanging out in small groups.
Eventually the little girls got a little tired of polar animals on the video, so we grabbed a roll of paper, spread it about 20 feet across the floor and they colored. Just about the time we'd really pulled all the sharpies out of the marker box (how DO they keep getting in there?) the adults came down. Four unanimous votes. All yes. All good, moving forward. Man, the popcorn made a huge mess, but many parents came along with brooms and vacuums and whisked the mess away. Tickety boo, all cleaned up, all good. Happy kids, happy parents, happy teachers, happy religious educator. Happy.
It was fun having Peter Morales with us last night, but it was more fun just having a regular Sunday.
A lovely, lovely day.
I love my crazy job.