January 1, 2022 (!)
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! As you probably know, we're still celebrating "Christmastide" on our church calendar, so enjoy, rejoice, don't rush out of this wonderful feast.
As we look forward I'm also looking back, and I'd love your help. For a young church making another move, I feel like we've learned a lot as we've worshiped, welcomed, wondered with our kids the past couple years:
We got more familiar with using our prayer books to organize our own Family Prayer times at home (I got so used to turning to page 67 of your BCP!); we explored Alcova Heights park at Wild Wonder; we celebrated Easter with colorful art projects; we had a really lovely, meaningful Sacramental Formation course via Zoom.
Kids led services and became more willing and able to serve during worship, via ushering, reading scripture, serving communion and singing in the choir, running the A/V, and helping watch younger kids :)
Canopy church and Atrium/Bible study on the quilts have been lovely; I've loved having children in the mix throughout the whole service. During atrium on the quilt, a child told me: "Did you know that candlelight is the color of heaven?" Another day I asked how a 5 year old felt at church: "Peaceful."
We want to take some of these lessons/skills with us as we move to Randolph and figure out what our Worship-Welcome-Wonder with our kids might look like there, and how we can welcome more families into it.
While I don't LOVE new year's resolutions, it helps me to think: what's worked well for me this year? What's not working so well?
If you have a minute, pause and say a quick prayer, and consider these questions in terms of what we want for our kids at church, and send me any thoughts:
What's been working well for my kids? Our family?
What's not been working so well/been challenging/needs attention?
Do any thoughts/images come up as I consider
Also, if you're heading to church tomorrow (Jan. 2) keep your eyes open for ideas (epiphanies!) about how we can use the space well. The Ortegas won't be there tomorrow; we were able to get away without incident to visit my family! So please get your kids to check out the field and playground that we'll be able to use, and report back to me.
lots of love—
P.S. If there's Christmas-y stuff you wanted to do but didn't get around to—of course feel free to let it go, like we nixed sending out cards this year!—or consider making it part of your epiphany celebration. Epiphany (January 6) bookends Christmas and makes a great way to look forward into the new year and outward into our communities and the world.