I’d like to share a story about a young child, perhaps five or so, but not too young to be aware that her best friend was often unwell. “Sam was in the hospital this week,” she might mention, as the candlelight flickered into being. Or, “Sam is better. He came to my house yesterday, and we baked easy all day,” not bothering to explain to the congregation their special attraction to the child-friendly Easy Bake Oven. Almost every week, for quite some time, she marched her small frame up the long aisle with both ease and determination to light her Candle of Joy or Concern on behalf of her young friend. At one point, her mother wondered if every week was too often for other people in the congregation — perhaps she should space out her announcements. To which the father replied (with warmth, but looking at his partner with no small amount of surprise), “Is this her church?”
Friends, we are growing. We have new and younger souls among us and while we figure out a new balance of rhythm and sound and presence, we will need to be patient with each other, else we cannot become the truly welcoming church we aspire to be. May we seek, always, the presence of the holy in its many forms, some of which sound distinctly like young children, learning what it is to have a church to call home.
And, with that in mind, beginning on November 12 we’ll test a new opportunity for quiet space in our sanctuary. Second Sunday Silence will offer the space from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m. for those who could use a half-hour to sit with their thoughts, or breath, and a handful of beautiful Tiffany windows. The candles will be lit. The space will be open and still.