Monday, December 06, 2010

The Gift of White Gift

I'm not good at sitting in the congregation in my own church. I'm just so accustomed to being the worship leader that I tend to wonder what I'm doing there. I headed to church that way yesterday and I came home uplifted by the service. White Gift can be a bit of a "three ring circus" as one person described it to me, but what happened yesterday was worship. An amazing number of children from the very young to teens took part and did a great job. Perfect? No, there was some faltering over words, and minor miscues. But overall it was impressive in how smoothly the service unfolded.

Of course I have no children in our junior congregation, my three all being well into their twenties. But the wee girl who accompanied her father when I was picked up at the airport for an interview nearly eight years ago is now quite grown up and was a capable participant in both the junior choir and a skit. And the infant boy who was just about the first child I baptized at St. Paul's now sings in the same choir with great verve. A girl who is painfully shy and insisted she didn't want to be involved suddenly changed her mind a couple of days before the final rehearsal and did well. I saw her parents look at one another and smile. How good is that? I was struck by how confident these children seemed in this environment where they are affirmed for their God-given gifts. The teens who were soloist and accompianist were wonderful as well.

I got the greatest satisfaction from watching them and many other kids do so well. I felt the pride of family because they are part of my church family. We have the privilege of being involved in the faith formation of these children, of being partners in raising them in the Christian faith. We saw that in action yesterday.Much credit belongs to Sunday School, youth, and Junior Choir leaders.

Were you there? I'm interested to know if your reaction was similar to mine. A number of parents are readers, so feel free to brag about your remarkable kids. Thoughts from those who weren't there about the role of children in congregational life?


roger said...

They definitely did a great job!

I remember when I was a child and performed in a skit at church - I don't remember it going nearly as well as what I saw yesterday!

I was thinking during the service yesterday about how much time and energy went into their production -not just from the kids, but the leaders who did such an awesome job organizing it.

Congrats to all!

Susan said...

I did not attend your White Gift service but strongly believe that children can and do enrich everyone's worship experience when they are able to participate fully. That's not to say that the children need to be coached in speaking and using sound equipment but then so do most adults and in my experience, children take feedback far easier than adults. I would love to see children more involved in worship.

Nancy said...

Just getting caught up. The children did do an amazing job and yes it felt like a service. Hard to believe that little girl who met you at the airport is all grown up. I had a tear in my eye for sure!!
I love to see children take part and as Susan says when they are coached and well practiced (as these kids were) it is a success.

sjd said...

Dear David.

You are a true master of words. I was already proud of my kids for their part, but to read your comments brings a lump to my throat, and a tear to my eye.

We are so blessed.
Thank you.

David Mundy said...

I "second" everything the four of you offer.We don't just tolerate our kids' involvement, we are enriched by it. I'm glad a couple of proud parents responded. You deserve to feel good about what your children offered.