What do families and children need for a successful Meeting for Worship experience?
We (some of the over-50 crowd in the Midcoast Outreach and Peace Center) have been asking parents. You would think, so many of us having been parents with young children in the past, we would have a pretty good idea already--and I think we do.
But ... It's been a while since we've had to encourage a toddler to keep their shoes on, finish their breakfast and go to the potty before wrestling them into a car seat for the drive to Meeting. It's easy to forget how many demands parents face establishing a family and career and how little "quiet time" this generation gets!
So, this is our recipe for providing a comfortable blend of a relaxed space for wiggly legs and high pitched voices and also offering a bit of silence and a chance to dwell in inner light for busy parents. Once a month, we'll have a special exploration with children while parents have Meeting for Worship followed by a "themed" family style lunch.
November 2: Harvest Time & Stewardship TestimonyChildren’s Activity: Making Applesauce (to share at lunch!). Read aloud: Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears by Cynthia Rylant. Exploration (good weather and indoor alternative): Find the Meeting’s apple trees OR find the apple. Perhaps introduce song “Simple Gifts.” Terms for talking about: recycling, “drop apples,” preserves/ing, sharing gifts.
Testimony of Stewardship: Friends strive to use our gifts wisely, with gifts conceived of in
the broadest of terms... To Friends, good stewardship means taking care of what has
been given, not just for ourselves, but for the people around us and for future generations
as well. Friends strive to use their gifts in accordance with their beliefs.
Luncheon theme: Local harvest products featuring apples, pumpkins, etc. Main items: Harvest soup, mac & cheese casserole, bread & butter.