After a beautiful culmination of the atrium year in our Pentecost celebration, summer’s here! In the latest pastoral letter, as only she can, Amy winsomely frames summer and Ordinary Time as deeply restful and also full of meaning. This invitation applies to children, too. Summer ushers in an even simpler rhythm for Incarnation children:
Wild Wonder is back! Families are welcome at 9:30 for a simple activity, a scripture reading, and a short song and prayer together before heading into worship.
A little background: Wild Wonder is one of the happy outcomes of pandemic flexibility, born out of a desire to connect with each other and enjoy God’s creation on Sunday; and it's had various iterations since 2020. Our plan for Summer 2022 is to use the outdoor space at Randolph for a relaxed time of enjoying creation together on Sunday mornings.
Last week we laid out The Gifts timeline (which can be seen during this service), tracing the history of many of the gifts God has given us for our help, nourishment, and enjoyment. Each Sunday a friend will bring something to share—an activity, an art invitation, a show-and-tell—all of which fit somewhere into “The Gifts” framework. (Email me to sign up!)
After enjoying our time together during Wild Wonder, we’ll be ready to head into church and enjoy God’s greatest gift to us—the gift of God’s own self in the person of Jesus.
No formal children’s program is offered during summer, but as always, children are included and considered a valuable part of our worship.
Summer is a nice time to practice sitting together as a family, if you’d like, or choosing an element or two of the liturgy to pay attention to as a family, such as:
The Eucharistic liturgy, particularly the Lord’s Prayer or when we declare the Mystery of Faith: “Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.”
The moments in church when we stand up or do something different, like the Gospel reading or the Apostle’s Creed. (A wide-eyed three-year-old in atrium recently noted, “It must be important,” as she watched Amy carry the Gospel into the middle of the congregation.)
At sermon time, our pastors often give a prompt, such as an art idea or something else for children to consider.
The nursery nook and art materials are available at the back, including index cards and rings for kids to make their own illustrated Gifts booklet.
Yesu Ni Wangu: add our children’s song for this season to your summer playlist!
Volunteering: children are warmly invited to help in volunteer roles at church. A particularly poignant option is to be the “Gospeller” who solemnly processes our beautiful Gospel book to the center of the people where the priest reads. Email Emily with any specific task requests your children have!
While traveling and playing this summer:
Send postcards to the church family to share the wonders you discover during your travels or escapades at the local pool. (Pick up postcards at the welcome table on Sunday, and be sure to fill out your own address so someone else can write to you!)
Vacation church. As we enjoy God’s creation in many summer-y ways, off visiting family or friends, or spending time in beautiful places, I invite you and your kids to hold simple family prayer times when you can’t make it to church. Customize this liturgy or Family Prayer from the BCP: morning, midday, and evening options start on page 66. (And/or zoom church, of course!)
If you’re into it, tag your discoveries and particular enjoyments of God’s many gifts on social media using #WildWonderIAC
Sign up for the hiking small group to be sure you get alerts for the next community hike.
Last week I relished the awe of being a small human riding on a pontoon boat in Tennessee’s Lake Chickamauga under an expansive sky. It was a holy moment, and my heart sang “God is so good.” May we and our children all have Psalm 24 moments this summer, when we can “lift up our heads” and gaze upon “the King of glory.”
lots of love—Josie
P.S. Here are a few tangible ways to help with children this summer:
Email me to sign up for a date to lead Wild Wonder. We have a long list of ideas for inspiration!
Mix up a big ol’ batch of play dough for the nook at church. Green is our liturgical color this season.
We’re singing The Doxology each week at Wild Wonder. Would you be up for making a prayer card with The Doxology lyrics?
Email me to get on the list of folks who bring meals for families with new babies.