Monday, October 13, 2014

Making Connections: The Fettuccia

On Sunday in the True Vine Atrium we went downstairs to unroll the Fettuccia. We gather for this presentation every year, and much of our work in the atrium for the first through third grade child connects to this impressionistic lesson. You can read about this presentation in the blog post The Fettuccia. With this work we offer the child a glimpse into the vastness of the History of the Kingdom of God, and an awareness of its three great moments: creation, redemption, and parousia.

After seeing the presentation this morning, we returned to our atrium and everyone began to work. A little later in the morning, I presented the Liturgical Calendar to one of our first graders. This bubbly boy is a joy to talk with, and we were moving through the calendar together quite companionably. Suddenly, he surprised me by saying "If Jesus died again the light would go out of the world forever." He proceeded to tell me all that he imagined would happen - the sun would go out, and the animals and plants would die. It would be dark and all the people would be cold. He said much more, but I was so surprised by this turn in conversation that I honestly can't recall it!

After he finished telling me about this scenario, I agreed that this would be a very bad thing. Then I asked him if he remembered the three great moments of the History of the Kingdom of God and we talked about them together. He remembered "parousia" and we talked about God's promise that Christ would come again and at that time God would be all in all. There would be no more tears, or pain, or death and the whole earth would be filled with the love and joy of God. This seemed to satisfy him and he began talk again about the Liturgical Calendar material.

At the end of atrium as we were gathered at the prayer table, I prepared the group to make silence together and invited the children's prayers. My young friend from the Liturgical Calendar work indicated that he would like to pray and he waited in silence until it was time. Then he astounded me, praying, "Thank you God for all hope."

As so often happens, I was reminded that in the atrium God and the children themselves offer so much more than I can ever give. Thank you God for all hope.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Farewell to the A-word!

Last Sunday we bid farewell to our old friend "A______a."  We have observed the tradition of putting away the A-word on the last Sunday before Lent begins for many years, which reflects our Church's liturgical practice of ceasing to use that festive word during the contemplative season of Lent.

It was a quiet Sunday due to yet another Sunday morning snow fall, but the children enjoyed decorating the letters during Christian formation and we all processed up the aisle with the word during the final hymn.

After putting the letters together so that the congregation could see the word, Rev. Peter walked down the line and collected them in a basket and we covered them with a piece of black felt. They were left on the altar and later moved to the Sacristy.

The letters the children decorated will reappear on Easter morning as a large banner across the front of the Church. Until then, keep the A-word to yourself!

Friday, February 14, 2014


On Sunday evening we gathered for an Epiphelmas service at Christ Church! The idea for an Epiphelmas service was brought to our Church from England by our previous Choir Director and this was our second time offering it. I have to say - I'm in love!

Similar to a Service of Lessons and Carols, this service highlights some of the major moments of the Epiphany season, beginning with the Visit of the Magi and ending with the Presentation at the Temple. Each moment was celebrated with a reading of the scriptural account, poetry, an anthem by the Choir and a hymn. We also reaffirmed our Baptismal vows after hearing the account of Jesus' baptism by John and were sprinkled with Holy Water by our priest.

The service ends with candlelight, echoing the Church's practice at Candlemas, as we remembered the Presentation at the Temple.

Although we hadn't advertised it as such, this is a lovely service for children. Many of the stories we read were ones that children in our atria know, and with Rev. Peter dousing us with water and each of us holding a lit candle there was a lot going on! Luckily one wonderful family did attend, and I loved capturing a few photos of their girls.

It was a beautiful service and I look forward to celebrating it again next year!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Epiphany!

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.      Matthew 2:9-12

Need a reminder about the day and season of Epiphany?  Check out Epiphany - Growing Time!

Want to see pictures of my Epiphany star?  Take a look at the post Epiphany Star.

Would you like to see some photos of of the places we will be hearing about in Church in the season of Epiphany?  Read The Sea of Galilee.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Advent Practical Life

This post is way overdue! At the beginning of December, I met with Deb and Sarah to see the practical life they were putting together for Advent in the Good Shepherd Atrium. They did a great job and I took pictures to share on the blog, but in the busyness of the holidays I failed to post them. So today, as Deb and Sarah put together the practical life shelves for the very short season of Christmas, I am finally getting these pictures out to you!! 

Thank you so much Deb and Sarah for all the skill you bring and time you put into making our atria materials beautiful and meaningful!

Sorting beautiful blue beads.

Attaching clothes pins.

Using tongs.

Beginning sewing.


Scooping and pouring.

Buttoning and unbuttoning. We have made a set of these which includes each of the
seasonal colors and will add more when the children learn the skill of buttoning!

Nativity Nesting doll set. I wish I had a picture of them separated. The children love them! 

Here is Deb hard at work!

The left shelf.

The right shelf.

Deb has a green thumb and always has something beautiful growing in the atrium!
To learn more about why we have practical life in the atrium check out this post!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

We celebrated Christmas Eve in our usual style at Christ Church! The pageant was wonderful! Here are some photos from rehearsal and Christmas Eve along with our thanks to all who led and participated this year!

The Angel Gabriel speaks with Mary.

Thank you to our amazing Director Graham Lanz, who persevered through illness to lead rehearsal!

The Angel of the Lord tells the shepherds the good news.

Thank you to Kathleen Nitschke, and Kate and John Malarney for organizing our rehearsal lunches and to all of the families who brought food to share!

Mary and baby Jesus.

Thanks Dwayne, Beth and family for bringing the live animals!

Herbie the camel was a hit as usual!

 Thank you to Music Director Will Gotmer and assistant Ruth Mercer for leading our wonderful Pageant Choir and Junior Choir!

The Pageant Choir

The Junior Choir

Thank you to Erin Pawlak for her incredible work with our very old and mismatched costumes and props!

Getting ready to go on the big night!

Shepherds and animals wait.

The Holy Family and the star.

The Magi and the Royal Page.

Many thanks to the Rev. Peter Faass, for leading us in worship and being our Celebrant!

And a very special thank you to all of the children and youth who participated in our pageant, and the parents and grandparents who made it possible!

A multitude of the Heavenly Host!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blessing of the Animals 2013

We had a wonderful celebration of St. Francis's feast day early in October! The service of Holy Eucharist was enhanced with an animal blessing and some exotic animal visitors. I have been so busy I forgot to post the pictures. Here are some photos to give you a feel for this wonder-filled service!

Many dogs raised their voices in song this year!
We had a great group of dogs, a number of cats, and some rodents too!
Sandy loves Church!
Our preacher Carol and her support team.
My dog Sydney enjoyed the service tremendously!
Carol our preacher, Rev. Peter our celebrant, and friends!
Our Christ Church girls are not afraid of spiders!
Look at that smile!
All creatures great and small...
The exotic animal parade!
Rev. Peter could not get far enough away from this snake!
This wallaby youngster was in its mother's pouch
at last year's blessing!
The Yak! It took a little coaxing to get him down the aisle
and then he didn't want to leave.
What a beauty!
At the end of the service animals came
 forward with their family for a blessing.