Sunday Reflections- Pentecost 15

Welcome to the return of Sunday Reflections.! Let me assure you that, apart from 2 Sundays on which I was totally involved in CTM duties, I have been in regular attendance at St. Stephen’s. But the congregation has been smaller and so also has been the number of children. We did continue with our All Ages Sundays both times outdoors, being blessed with perfect weather. In July we hosted a community Barbecue and the children had a good time assembling a “Welcome Banner” as their contribution to the event and in August we had a lively morning of “Paint and Praise” with songs and readings from  the Book of Psalms   and an opportunity for children (and some adults!) to paint their praises on long sheets of brown paper, placed on the ground and anchored with bricks. But here we are on Labour Day Weekend and as I prepare to head off to church on my bicycle it seemed fitting to check in again and to offer a few thoughts on Summer Sunday Worship, especially as it does ( or does not) meet the needs of children.
  At this point it is necessary to trot out the somewhat hackneyed maxim –“God doesn’t take a summer vacation”. But, seriously, how do we respond to the needs of families to both kick back and relax as well as to maintain the continuity of church and community? If children do attend church over the summer months then they remain comfortable with the people and patterns of a Sunday morning. there is less of a disconnect and they see that church is not like school but is something we are part of all year round.  If families with children vanish from the radar screen then those planning worship should not be blamed for not catering to those families’ needs.  It is good to strike a balance and to be creative. Our small congregation did pretty well this year with 3 outdoor gatherings, a late July Sunday which consisted of a shortened Praise time followed by a community Brunch and there was also the Sunday at the and of our Day Camp when we shared our thoughts as to how that special week had played out. The Toddler Room was open and available and parents with school aged children made a point of giving me a heads up, Sunday by Sunday so I knew whether to plan a separate activity for that group. I truly hope that as the warm weather fades into memory we will be able to keep creativity at the forefront and am excited to see what the season ahead will bring!

  Better get on that bike, or I’ll be late…
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