Saturday, June 25, 2011

Amazing First Session

We washed the floors and the windows of the new classroom, put in the little table and chairs for work time, laid down our beach blanket and the bean bag chairs. took a deep breath, and welcomed our students I & N to the first St Giles' Gate session this morning.

Ms. Cynthia taught the lesson on the Creation, using the wonderful Godly Play materials. Both I&N participated in delightful ways, and each got something from the story that really seemed to resonate for them. It was great seeing N help I sometimes, and seeing I participate in his own beautiful way.

We transitioned to work time, singing the chorus part from "All Things Bright and Beautiful." The boys had fun drawing and writing their response to the story they had heard.

After that, we transitioned to worship time, singing the Celtic Alleluia. We had white grape juice and Trappist bread and had a wonderful simple Eucharistic Prayer from "Rhythms of Grace." Everyone served each other at the holy picnic! We closed with the best possible post-communion prayer: "God is great, God is good, and we thank Him for our food."

The Jesus Doll, beautifully made by Carole Y, watched calmly as we celebrated the meal as He had taught us. This doll will figure more prominently as we continue with this ministry.

Some learnings: we will be using a simpler, more understandable version of the Lord's Prayer the next time. We'll also make the Eucharistic Prayer in larger print, so that children who can read aren't confused by it. I expect we will be laminating those sheets. We may end up using a grape-apple juice mixture since the white grape juice wasn't so much of a hit.

As you can see from the pictures, our flooring isn't in place yet. There had been talk of putting in carpet, but the consensus is that linoleum or vinyl tile will probably be a better choice.

For the next session, I may be unable to serve as celebrant, so we will have a lay minister-friendly version of the service, consistent with our rubrics for "Communion Under Special Circumstances." We are, after all, about the ministry of all believers, and we were so glad to welcome our young believers to God's special place for them this morning.

Please keep this ministry in your prayers as we continue taking it for a "test drive" this summer. We will meet again on July 9th, when Ms. Diane will be telling the story of Noah's Ark.

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