Monday, 21 April 2014

On kids and church services

This post is a response to this blog post entitled On children's participation in the liturgy

I can see where you're coming from and I celebrate every opportunity at true all age liturgy - it's possibly the hardest thing to pull off.   But .....

Please do not think that all churches offer mere babysitting when the kids are out of church.

Our situation is that the kids come straight into Sunday school and we take them back into Church for the eucharistic.   We have extremely high quality children's work with a band of skilled and passionate volunteers delivering it.   We design our Sunday school in the same waysas the liturgy for the service is designed.

We welcome
we affirm our faith
we confess our sins and we recognise that we are forgiven
we hear the word of God just as the adults do
we enter into understanding this word and then we respond together
we pray and we sing and we are ready for the eucharistic when we come back in

not all churches babysit the kids
many, like ours, feed the kids with love and truth and explore with them every Sunday.

Further thoughts:

Personally I'd rather be with the kids than with the adults. I learn and connect through debate and exploration.  I don't do well listening to a sermon or sitting quietly.  I need to be able to talk and move and think and debate and feel; exactly the way we offer to the kids.  Many adults involved in children's work are the same and I'm pretty sure it's why the end up on Sunday school leadership - it's where they prefer to be.

So don't ever think that the kids are missing out; perhaps think about what you might be missing out on by sitting with the adults in church.

Look at this beach #napowrimo2014

When you look at this beach
What do you see?
Pebbles and stones
Or great history?
If you look on mass
You miss the range
Of creatures' lives
And climate change

Do you do the same
When you look at the sky
Do you see the clouds
Or do they pass you by
I see the difference
The light and dark
Not all the same
Some show storms past

And how about people
How d'you see us all?
A mass to be missed
Or short and tall?
We each are made
Different as can be
Take a better look
And you will see

Clouds clouds #napowrimo2014

Go away
Come again
Another day

Don't come back
I'll huff and puff
You'll change tack

Tossed around #napowrimo2014

Look at this pebble
Tossed around by beach and waves
Rough in many ways

Rough in many ways
Tells of life with ups and downs
Beauty in those scars

An inner darkness #napowrimo2014 #depression

Outside it's bright
Inside it's deepest black
Which of these is true?

Which of these is true
The mask worn to protect
Or the inner hue?

Ongoing Beauty #napowrimo2014

Yellow and orange
As vibrant in death as life
Ongoing beauty

Which is the real me? #Napowrimo2014 #bipolar #mentalhealth

Which is the real me
That I hope to find
Am I darkly depressed
With a bright creative mind
Or am I creatively sparked
And depressively inclined?

I tend to think I'm jet black
Depressive at my core
Fighting to find any light
But it's hard to be sure

Perhaps the white is really me
Creatively full of hope
Who sometimes finds the black dog
And in the darkness grope

I'm challenged to think differently
To try and live in grey
It's hard though when for forty years
I've lived a black and white way

The Grey is apparently normal
A place where I can be
Living without extremes
Just normally happy
It seems horribly boring but
I'll have to wait and see

The peacock and the hen #Napowrimo2014

The peacock is a show off
A bird which likes to strut
He preens himself in beauty
To attract a female hen .....but

The female of the species
Is plain and unassumed
She focuses on motherhood
Not on being plumed

Evolution's weird sometimes
The way it creates life
A strutting hands off daddy
With His ever doting wife

Don't shy away from death this Easter #napowrimo2014

"Tell the kids about Easter
About Jesus forgiving us all
But don't mention death on the cross
They don't need to know how we fall"

I disagree with this entirely
Kids need to know that He died
He was nailed to the cross as a criminal
And died as a man.  I won't lie.

"It'll scare them, give them a story
A simple one that they won't fear
We don't want to bring out reality
We're too scared of seeing a tear"

Don't fear, the kids they can hear it
They understand more than we think
I'll tell them the truth about life again
How He came back from the brink

Trust me, they will not tremble
It'll help them get death and life
The more we tell the children
The less they'll fear in strife


This is a craft we made on Good Friday with the kids. It starts with an egg shaped tissue paper base which they stick three crosses on.  It's then covered by another egg shape which gives Jesus' last words words on the cross "It is done" and opens to show that "He is risen".  The craft really interested the kids and allowed them to ask a lot of difficult questions about Jesus and death and heaven and Resurrection.

Splish splosh splash #napowrimo2014 #haven #littlesea

In the giant bath
The fun doesn't stop
Inflatable squish
It's a swimming rap