Interesting day at church. Every few months we like to do something called "Children's Church." When that happens, the kids stay upstairs in the children's chapel for the whole time. I send the sacrament up to them from downstairs and they receive communion among themselves. The advantage of this is that Kerrie (and I) can construct an entire service for the kids without compromising anything for the sake of appealing to adults. Now, keep in mind that this is just something we do occasionally, certainly not every sunday. But it's a nice treat for the kids because it gives them a chance to celebrate the Eucharist in a very special way.
I've always intended to take a turn up with the kids myself, and send the sacrament down to the parents! But the problem was always dealing with the sermon. I can't be in two places at once. But two things lead me to be with the kids this Sunday. First, it was the last Children's Church until the fall. The second is that Kerrie was not going be here!
Normally Kerrie has one of two Assistants, which allows her to split the group in two as necessary for age. But since Kerrie was gone we had both teachers on hand, plus myself. That worked out pretty well, as it turns out. Kerrie and I had discussed what I was going to do ahead of time, but I ended up having to improvise a lot! For instance, we one of the kids read the story from the Gospel I realized the rest really weren't getting it. So decided to take another shot at declaring the Gospel. I got the kids to take parts and act it out. Everyone had a role! It was engaging and it really worked well... especially towards the end when the kids were really enjoying themselves.
The only problem I ran into was that I ran out of stuff to do with the kids with about 20 minutes left! At that point the momentum was for the kids to go downstairs to be with their parents for the tail end of the service. I decided not to resist. But next time I'l remember the lesson: you can never have enough activities for the kids!
The whole thing gave me a new appreciation for what Kerrie does. There is a lot of skill in Children's Ministry!
Meanwhile... downstairs Marili did an excellent job with the adults. I've already uploaded the audio podcast to iTunes, so if you are subscribing to Messiah sermons via iTunes you should be able to get it now. Otherwise, I'll post it here and on the Messiah Website once I get the video edited.
Incidentally, a visitor to COTM this morning told me that he watched our videos on the website. He said that what he found in person pretty much matched what he expected from the videos. Good confirmation that it's worth my time to do them.