Archive for October 2010

Off with a bang.

October 18, 2010

We celebrated our first Rhythms of Grace for this year in Plainville yesterday.

It was great to see our old friends and to come together in this time of worship, play and sacramental sharing.

The story was about Abraham and Sarah and their faithful response to God’s direction for them to “Go,” and also, about the amazing thing that happened when Sarah, as an old woman, learned that she was to have a baby.  We also talked about the 3 Visitors who told Sarah her  ‘good ‘ news… and how they were shown hospitality ….

One of our friends loved the  mini dome tent  that I had set up.  Inside there was a sheepskin and a big cotton throw… It served as our ‘safe space’ for the day.. making a cozy retreat.  I  think we’ll use that next time, too.

We played with playdough, did some sponge painting, hung stars in the sky and had a surpise visit from Shakiru, a therapy dog. We had our informal version of communion and shared that wonderful moment of calm at the end.

Mostly, we were together again, making up that marvelous expression of the Body of Christ that happens everytime we gather at Rhythms.

Was I the only one who felt it?

If you were there, tell us what it was like for you.  Does this fill your spiritual bucket? 

If you weren’t there, but read this blog, tell us… what does fill your spiritual bucket?  How do you find calm in your day?

Rhythms of Grace made  my day, yesterday.

Love,

Audrey

Advertisements

Making time for yourself and maybe, even, for God.

October 15, 2010

Dear Parents-

You are amazing.  I am always moved by your faith and patience and dedication when you arrive at a Rhythms service on a Sunday afternoon.   It is clear to me that being there is important to you.  Having an opportunity to be in church with your child without the constraints of a typical worship service that constructs boundaries around acceptable behaviour… I am pleased that you have found Rhythms to offer you an opportunity for worship, a chance to receive communion, a time for socializing and seeing friends.

But… I wonder… how and when do you take/make time for YOU?  For your own spiritual reflection, refreshment and renewal?

Do you have a practice that allows your spiritual batteries to be recharged?  Is it bike riding, running, yoga, an hour spent reading, meditation, cooking… What do you do and how do you make time for it?

Please let us know. 

What you share here may be a much needed blessing for another.

Love,

Audrey

Gearing up for Sunday

October 13, 2010

For us in Plainville, it is Rhythms season again… we will meet for the first time this fall on Sunday and I am… excited!

I always get a little anxious as a Rhythms-date draws near…. I wonder who will come… will our old friends be joined by new ones?  Will we see some faces that we have missed for a while?  Rhythms is different than regular church.  It is more fluid and less predictable-  and so that adds an extra edge of excitement.

This Sunday we will be teaching the story of Abraham and Sarah… faithful followers of God who packed up and moved when God told them to “Go.”  They didn’t ask questions, but just were obedient to God.

I bought a tent this afternoon- it is a small ‘pup’ tent that I am hoping the kids might enjoy crawling in and out of.  Sarah and Abraham lived in a tent as people ‘in transit.’  I want to give our kids a chance to feel what that was like ( though I doubt that Sarah and Abraham’s tent had a mosquito fly…)

 

We will also play with stars ( God said that Abraham’s offspring would be as numerous as the stars…oy.  that’s a lot of mouths to feed) …

… and to remember the idea of Hospitality ( Sarah and Abraham entertained 3 guests while they were living their nomadic life)… we will practice setting the table- a good life skill- don’t you agree, parents?

I look forward to seeing our friends again… and breaking bread at Jesus’ table.

See you Sunday?

Audrey

 

 

Getting God in the mix. WWJD if he found his kid stealing… or bullying… or if he saw another kid being bullied… how does our faith intersect with our parenting?

October 11, 2010

Hmmm. thanks to Nancy for her excellent comment on our first entry… she said that parenting is a “gift from God.” She also said that without her faith, parenting would be much harder ( my paraphrase.)

Thanks, Nancy… for introducing the other balance point of this blog… the SPIRITUALITY of parenting.

I am a life long church goer. I suppose that I have taken my faith and its precepts for granted. I think that a lot of what my Christian faith teaches, is also accepted in the cultural mainstream these days… in a culture that is less and less reliant on the Church and her teachings to act as a moral compass … and more and more on ‘generic morals.’  There seems a lot of overlap.

Our Bible tells us: “Love our neighbors. Stealing is bad. Taking advantage of another is bad. Hospitality is good. Sharing is good. Caring for the poor, lonely, disadvantaged is good.” I can’t argue with any of that… but as a Christian, I can’t claim it as exclusive to my faith tradition, either.

PARENTS- how does your faith inform your parenting? Do you use the “G” word or the “J” word in your house… with your kids?

Share your wisdom here. It may be a blessing for someone else… and.. you may discover something new about yourself, in the process.!

Kicking and Screaming, Nursery School here we come

October 7, 2010

I remember when I was a young adult going with a friend of mine to drop her  three year old son off at nursery school.  I did not have any children at the time and revered this relationship with my friend- I thought of her as a big sister and a role model for me of what it was to be a good, young mother.

We got to school and as soon as my friend undid the carseat-belt of her son, he started screaming.  She offered some platitudes and then picked him up, kicking and screaming, and marched into the church basement where the school was held, with him protesting all the way.

I waited outside, horrified that my role model would be such a mean mother and put her child through such a trial.  I vowed in my head, never to be so mean to my kids… if I ever had any.

Six years later, I dragged my own  reticient child to nursery school, took off his jacket, hung it in his cubby, ignored his plantive cry- “no, mommy, no!,”  peeled his little fingers from my pant leg, spoke a firm: “I love you.  I will be back to get you after school…”  and left the room, choking back the tears as I climbed in my Chevy Celebrity wagon.

I had become the mean mommy.

NOW- 20 years later…. I wonder if I could have done it differently.

What comfort items might I have left my son to hold on to as I left?

What kind of preparations might have made for a better transition?

How might I have asked the teachers to help me?

How might I have gotten some support from other parents… who didn’t seem to have to peel their children off of their legs?

HOW ABOUT YOU?

Please share some of your experiences here… they may be a blessing for someone else.

Audrey

How We Gather…

October 5, 2010

… indicates how the rest of our time together will be.

This is a post continuing our theme of “hospitality.”

The Gathering Activity at our Rhythms of Grace service really helps to set the tone for the rest of the service.

We plan this open-ended activity to allow a gracious start time to the program and to let our particiapants explore the room a lttle bit, get used to a new spance and some new faces.  It can be so intimidating for children to move into a new space…by giving them an activity( decorating a banner, searching for hidden objects in the room, gathering up a basket of nuts or putting stuffed animals in an ‘ark’… these are simple ways to support a child through the first few minutes of our time together and to allow them to become acclimated to the space.

I wonder if there are similar routines that parents use when going to a new store… or doctor… or story hour… or school…  How is the transition from car to activity?  From entering to getting on with the program?  Any tricks out there?  tips?  Support for parents who have difficulty with their children and transition?  Share your ideas!

Welcome parents- new to our blog, new to Rhythms of Grace

October 4, 2010

Good morning!

We’ve had great reports from our new Rhythms of Grace site’s Opening Day in Shelton!  Hurray!

We are considering the topic of Hospitality this month.

Tell us, if you were there in Shelton yesterday… How were you welcomed?  What made you feel at home?  How did you and you child experience this new way of worship?

Others- how do YOU feel welcomed in a new space?

I know that for me, having someone come up and engaging me in conversation makes a HUGE difference. ( I hate to be left standing alone!)  I also LIKE SOMETHING TO DO RIGHT AWAY.  Give me a job… a task… even a name tag to fill out…  At Rhythms we use a GATHERING ACTIVITY to ease our friends into the service.

WHAT WORKS FOR YOU?