Tonight I realized that all four of our children were able to help out at church this weekend. Having a church in our home town . . . it does make a difference in how much our children are able to participate in the life of the church and I can't tell you how happy it makes me.
Our host church (the church we rent from) held a work day and Bess and Gamgee were able to go along with Adam to help out. I gather this involved hacking ice plant off the side of a steeply sloping hill and rolling it up like a carpet so it could be carried into the dumpster. Well, that's what it involved for Adam, anyway. I'm pretty sure the kids were mostly involved in running around together and sometimes carrying things. According to them: "lunch was the best part!"
On Sunday, Bess also acolyted, carrying one of the torches in the processional. She's my oldest, and I often think of her as mature - just in comparison with her siblings, you know. But she looked so tiny and adorable holding that torch - taller than her - across from an adult acolyte and standing next to the tall priest reading from the gospel. I also saw her eyes grow wide, and then saw her gulp and smile in delight and look up to meet my gaze as she recognized the gospel reading (the miracle at Cana); it was so cool to see.
And the twins - the twins are convinced that they are the junior members of the Altar Guild. As we rent our space, we have to carry all the different articles for the service into the sanctuary, and Anna and Lucy love to help. They walk very carefully and slowly with the precious things in their hands, and are pretty precious themselves. There were (God be praised!) several (adult) volunteers after the service who wanted training, and so Anna and Lucy weren't able to keep me company "helping" the way they wanted to, and they were so sad. But it was so touching to have their help beforehand and to see their eagerness to "work at church", in their words. And I'm sure they'll get to help many times in the weeks to come, Lord willing.
And I hope "working at church" always brings them such delight, all four of them. And I'm grateful they have the chance now; God is very good.
Peace of Christ to you,