I am so grateful for my church family and the very special relationships that they have with my granddaughters. Both girls are treated with respect and given real work to do, not pushed aside or given “busy work” to get them out of the way of what the adults are doing.
Lily in her position as “junior acolyte” has the responsibility of processing behind the crucifer, carrying the Lectionary and making sure it is properly placed. During the Offertory, she stands in front of the altar and waits to receive the offering plate, then during the recessional she carries our beautiful icon out of the service.
And Olivia loves to push the sweeper across the rug following the service; she considers it a privilege to vacuum and to help put away the hymnals and prayer books. She also takes it upon herself to entertain any babies and toddlers who might attend the service, as she can’t stand to hear them cry or fuss. Both girls eagerly look forward to garden time. This morning they planted pumpkin seeds in our community garden, and then Lily painted a beautiful sign to identify the rows of “Pupmkin (sic) Seeds”. They both adore the retired entomologist who serves as their gardening guide, and he is awesome at sharing his knowledge with them.
This isn’t to say that neither girl gets sulky if the service takes too long or if they are tired of each other’s company, but if one of them turns a grumpy face towards the row behind her chair that face is most often greeted by an adult winking or making faces to cheer her up. And if I am busy, there is a whole congregation willing to assist them (or keep them out of trouble) in my place.
I am grateful for the many ways that our congregation models God’s love to my girls. Happy Sunday!