Thursday, October 25, 2012

History of the Kingdom of God

On Sunday in the True Vine Atrium we will be opening this box once again to contemplate the History of the Kingdom of God. You can read more about this presentation in a post from last year called The Fettuccia. We began this work last Sunday when I narrated the history for small groups of children to ponder. This week we will take over the first floor with our very long ribbon and meditate once again on the unity and vastness of the Kingdom.

If you have a child in the True Vine Atrium please do what you can to bring him or her this Sunday, and be on time! We will keep working with the History of the Kingdom of God throughout the atrium year, but this is an impressionistic lesson and there is no substitute for being there when the ribbon is unrolled!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Communal Prayer

This year I've been making some changes in Communal Prayer in the True Vine Atrium. For the last several years, the children have been leading a fairly structured service of songs, prayers and readings at the end of each atrium. This has been fine but unremarkable.

Last summer when I was training for Level Three catechesis I realized that this type of formal prayer was intended to be used with the 9-12 year old children. Communal prayer for the 6-9 year olds is meant to be an expansion of the open and spontaneous prayer practiced with the youngest children. This was a huge surprise to me! But I was relieved to learn that I've been doing this "wrong" because I felt intuitively that we weren't meeting the children's needs with our prayer service, and that we could probably be doing much more by doing less.

Since we began meeting in September I have been experimenting with a more relaxed prayer time. Generally I have been picking a few songs to sing together and reading a psalm from a prayer card, or a piece of scripture that is meaningful. I've begun inviting a bit of spontaneous prayer from the children and it is going well. Up to this point, I've been leading (with a little help from the children), but now that we are becoming accustomed to this style of prayer I will be asking children to take the lead. I still feel unsure about what this prayer time will look like, but I believe we are on the road, and I will keep looking to the children to lead the way!

We've been incorporating children's artwork into our prayer time when possible.  Last Sunday we had two lovely prayer cards copied by the children that we read and prayed together. I took some photos and have included them in this post for you to enjoy.

Below you can see the prayer table from Sunday. Our flowers were brightly colored and very attractive to the children! Every flower was used and the table was brimming! It makes me happy just looking at it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blessing of the Animals, Part Two!

In addition to the exotic animals who visited our Church Sunday, many pets made their way up the aisle for a blessing as well! I hope you enjoy these photos of parishioners and their animal friends!

Many thanks to parishioner Kimberly Shepherd, of Kats Eye on Life Photography for her candid shots of our celebration. You can see more great pictures by Plain Dealer photographer Gus Chan in the Photo Section of the Plain Dealer online. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blessing of the Animals!

Our service in honor of St. Francis was wonderful this morning, and just as crazy as you might imagine! 

Here are some pictures of the exotic animals that took part in the Parade of Animals!

The camel nuzzling the wallaby!
Check back tomorrow for a look at some of the pets who were blessed at our service today!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Blessing of the Animals Sunday!

Come one, come all, to the Blessing of the Animals and Parade of Exotic Animals at Christ Church this Sunday, October 7th! This annual celebration honors the feast day of St. Francis (Oct. 4th). It reminds us of the tremendous gift we have been given in creation, and the blessings that many of us receive from our pets and the other animals we encounter in our lives.

Bring your pets (on a leash or in a cage) to the 10:30 service this week and they will receive a blessing from our priests. We will also have some exotic animals with us during the service and afterwards to get to know. Several of our past visitors are pictured in this post!

This Sunday we will end atrium at 10:15 am so that the children can sit with their families for the entire 10:30 service. We know that no one wants to miss a bark or a hiss!! Parents of children in the Good Shepherd Atrium- please meet outside the atrium at 10:15 am and wait there to pick up your little ones. Older children will meet their parents in Church. See you Sunday!