an emerging, missional Christian community in the Scranton, PA area:
rooted in the Episcopal Church, welcoming all.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Peacemeal Kids

Last night we had our first children's worship experience. Our kids, the only children who are a part of Peacemeal so far, have kind of just wandered in and out of our worship experience. They would hang around with the adults for awhile and then get some snacks and go upstairs to watch a movie -- it has been one of the highlights of the "friday night gathering" for them. Since reading Reimagining Spiritual Formation, by Doug Pagitt and the Solomon's Porch community, and learning about the ways they involve their children in the community, we've been wanting to do something more for our children. So Peacemeal has decided to do a special Bible story and craft activity for kids, which will take place simultaneously with the first part of our regular worship. The kids' project will happen at the other end of the long room from where the adults worship. Adults in our group who feel called to plan and lead will take turns. Anyone else who is willing helps with operation keep-the-baby-safe. He still crawls arond trying to put his hand in people's drinks and to eat bits of snacks which have fallen on the floor.

I took the first turn at leadership last night and it was a really special time with my own kids. I told them to imagine that I was their Sunday School teacher (they still go to Sunday School in a traditional parish) -- I figured they would listen better to me if they imagined me to be someone other than their mom. We said a prayer together - like the three headed monster in Whose Line Is It Anyway -- each one of us adding the next word to the prayer. I wish I'd written it down as we did it - because even in its silliness it was actually quite beautiful and poetic. Then we read a Children's Bible version of the Ascension story. We made shrinky dinks of the characters or things in the story (the 11 disciples, Jesus -- complete with jets for getting to heaven -- a cloud, some flowers and a rainbow). As we made the shrinky dinks, we talked about how Jesus might have felt about going home, about how his disciples might have felt watching him go. By the time we baked the shrinky dinks, the adult worship had reached the time for passing of the peace. We passed the peace with the adults and then told our story and showed off our shrinky dinks. Hopefully on most nights the kids will remain with the rest of the group for Eucharist, but last night it was late enough that they needed to get to bed.

Because my guys liked their snacks and movie experience so much I feared they might complain about this new system, but they had a great time! As we sat by the oven watching our colorful pictures curl up and then flatten out, my four year old turned to me and said, "Mom I'm really glad we got to do this tonight!" So Peacemeal children are in the mix now. Many thanks to Solomon's Porch for the inspiration.

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