Tag Archives: church

This Old Church

My hand wraps around the banister
feeling warm wood glowing beneath the skin
climbing stairs to ancient classrooms
long stilled, the cacophony of youthful voices
echoing through rafters and down the balcony
children no longer haunt its rooms
the church’s youngest members,
from middle age and up
recall times of lessons and play
now hushed, rooms empty
since parish members were children.

The sanctuary’s seats are many
with a dividing wall 25 feet tall
to allow for overflow when needed
the organ’s pipes, overwhelmingly silent,
once rang with a sound so powerful
vibrations thumped within our chests
the organist fails to know
the music of the soul anymore

The Church was built for a time
when families faithfully attended
each Sunday, bringing children
to learn Bible rules and stories,
its storied stones and gloried stained glass
holding the congregation safe
within its all encompassing bosom

The remnant congregation,
wearing their coats against the draft
are committed, generous, active people
welcoming all who come to visit
saying prayers they will return
but times have changed
music and services need adjusting
to meet the desires of these generations
growing up outside the stone walls
without ever placing a foot within.

The Church is a wonderful place
where life can rejoice yet again
but it needs to host children,
young parents, the middle-aged
finding our way to that is the challenge
for although going to services and serving
on committees, more is still needed
so much more

My heart yearns to
sway in the arms of the Father,
raise my arms  and dance
to hear the Bible read and interpreted
giving meaning and translation
expanding the small parts within
to resonate with a defiant ring
so I can stare boldly at my Savior’s
glory and rejoice.

 

Program for Parents with Young Children

Somewhere in the world it’s still Wednesday . . . right?  Hoping so because I can barely remember what week it is – scratch that – I Can’t remember what week it is much less what day it is.  I judge the days by whether it’s a work day or not.  I work part-time so that is an easier judge for me.  Nevertheless, I have trouble in this area.

I’ve been feeling an overwhelming need to contribute  to the world.  To volunteer, to write something, anything with meaning to someone more than myself (Not that this is).  I’m hopefully going to start a group for parents and children at my church.  We are a poor, small, and largely elderly lot in a colossal, stone church with magnificent Tiffany windows that is also elderly and in need of repairs.  It is my hope that younger families and children will become interested in joining although that is not my primary focus.

Young, stay at home parents are frequently isolated, lonely, full of questions out of answers  and bored with the daily routine. When I was younger, there was a program in our town where parents would meet once a month for a program while their children were babysat.  The program each month would focus on a different aspect of importance to parents. A speaker might talk for 20-30 minutes, followed by a question-answer period. Topics could include: Saving for College funds, When to get a tutor for your child, First Aid, Budgeting for childhood expenses.  There are plenty of relevant topics to draw from.  (If any of you have suggestions, please let me know).

Children would be in a separate area with minders who have been background checked. Activities would be provided for participation. At the end of the parents’ time, there could be a potluck lunch.

Out of this, a couple of programs could evolve.  First, a babysitting co-op could be developed.  A parent needing a few hours off could find another parent in the co-op to babysit.  The parent would then owe the co-op a number of points which would need to be eliminated by babysitting for someone else in the group.  A small steering committee would keep track of the data and ensure quality care was being given. For instance, if a babysitter talks on the phone or works on a computer the entire time, watches inappropriate (adult, violent) shows,  or is using drugs or alcohol during babysitting sessions the person could be eliminated from the program or warned, depending on the severity of the issue.

Another program I would hope to see emerge from the program would be playgroups that met weekly or every other week at different parks or places in the area. My children were in a playgroup from the time my oldest was five months old until he entered kindergarten.  The playgroup mothers continued to celebrate births or other special occasions after the kids went to school.  We even had an annual mothers’ weekend away at the beach.

There are a couple of more ideas I have for this population but they can wait a while.  The nice thing is, once started, my contribution would be obtaining speakers while all else could be run by the parents.  I’m past those years so it would not be appropriate for me to be involved any more.  As I said, suggestions are welcome.  Puleaseeee . . .