Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

First Pres: Kid Tested--Mother Approved

First Pres is swarming with kids these days. We used to be kind of a grown up church but now we have been invaded by the little people. This is in part because their parents are looking for a church that won't threaten the kids with hellfire.

Sounds like a small thing, but around these parts a church like ours is not easy to find. Several parents (and others) have told me they like the church because of our vision and welcome, such as the eight points and our mission statement.

Of course we have fun.



We have a children's time in the worship service,





then the elementary kids go to a children's worship where they can do cool stuff.




The younger ones head off to our new nursery.







We hunt for eggs







and sometimes even find them.







And we let them play with concrete.


They are making their own stones for our new labyrinth which will be completed this summer.



Folks here think this is a pretty special church. I do too. You will find more pictures in our photo gallery. Check out our web page and if you are near our mountain, come visit!





Hoss likes the food and now and then even the sermons!



7 comments:

  1. Great photos but more than that, I love what this post says.

    A church can be many things- when it is filled with love and with many generations of people, that is a good thing.

    When it is filled with light and love and welcome that is also a good thing.

    We are in church- at least I believe, because we believe in the Living Water, we believe in Eternal Life.

    Both of which are kinda sorta antithetical to that whole nasty "hellfire thang" in general.

    I recently had a looooong thread on my blog (too lazy to even link to it...) in which a blogger who calls himself Satan and I debated hell, among other things.

    Personally, why worry about hell when I can participate in the life that is all around me? If hell exists and if I end up there, well I will deal with that then.

    In the meantime, I am grateful to belong to an actual Catholic parish in which we are reminded (if like me you go to daily mass!) that God never condemns us, we condemn ourselves and one another. And that if we are given so much love so freely, so much grace that we might want to consider how we appropriate that to others.

    Pretty simple.

    It is so much nicer when people are not there out of threat.

    And when they bring their really cool kids with them!

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  2. Thanks Alex! They are photogenic bunch...

    Hey Fran. That is interesting to have a debate with Satan over the existence of Hell. You really bring in the big players over there!

    Monkey--yes, but the baby Jesus can make Satan poop his pants.

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  3. You have a copy; I don't, John, but I believe this is one of the key points that Diana Butler Bass makes in Christianity for the Rest of Us. Neighborhood churches that thrive are those that embrace families.

    Interestingly enough, our semi-regular get together for XPC "Family" Group (we're still trying to come up with a name that doesn't involve "Gay" or alphabet soups--I call it the XPC "Euphemisms") had a time where one of the members of the church's Strategic Planning Committee asked us what we'd like to see in our church's future. Among this group of youngish gay and lesbian folks, the conversation centered almost entirely about how to attract and integrate more young parents and how to improve Sunday School options for kids.

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  4. "Among this group of youngish gay and lesbian folks, the conversation centered almost entirely about how to attract and integrate more young parents and how to improve Sunday School options for kids."

    Awesome. That is what I am finding here. Parents want their kids to hang around gl folks and vice versa. We want a church that is mixed. Our gl parents of course fit both!

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  5. I think a lot of it comes back to those of us who felt uncomfortable at church growing up (particularly in those awful Middle and High school years). We want the next generation to experience unconditional love at church as well as at home.

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