We don't have a lot of children in our congregation. And some Sundays there are none of them are present during worship. That happened this past Sunday, and so when my Associate invited the children to come forward for the Children's Moment, there was a somewhat awkward pause. Then she and our liturgist decided they'd go and sit on the chancel steps where the kids usually perch, and soon they were joined by three other adults from the congregation.
Our children's moment usually features a couple of puppets--a crocodile named Chompers and a Walrus named Wendell. Like their manipulator (me) they love puns--and yesterday was no exception as they tried to explain why Good Shepherd Sunday is called by that name. "It's a good thing they don't have to pay to be here," said one of the puppets referring to the congregation, "Or folks would say they got fleeced!" There were both the requisite chuckles and groans.
The children's moment, despite the average age of our congregation being somewhere around 65 or 70, is one of the most loved parts of the service. Yes, its often a bit silly. Yes, it involves puppets. But I think it appeals to the child-like spirit that rests in so many of our parishioners. As was demonstrated by the step-sitters on Sunday.
"Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child," Jesus once told his followers, " will never enter it." I'm happy to say I have a congregation made up of women and men who seem, 7 to understand just what Jesus was trying to say.
(Photo Credit: Bruce Findley)