Advent Calendar Day 3

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I couldn't decide if today's activity was a cop-out or not. Bill assured me that it wasn't, so we did not add to what we had already planned for the day. Today was Parent's Day Out at church. What this means is, parents of children who go to our church, can drop off their children from 9:30-3:30 and get done whatever they need to get done while the children are supervised and play together. It's a wonderful thing for the parents as well as the kids. Rori and Liam love it especially, because they get to play with friends that they often don't get to have free play with--usually just see them at Sunday School and AWANA.
Brendan went from this to

this. Thanks to the lovely ladies and gentelman that were there!
We have been so blessed by the church we attend. We have developed some incredible friendships, and so have our kids. When Bill and I first got married, we attended a large, well-known church with a Pastor who has a real gift for preaching. However, we never really felt connected. I know that this is large part our fault. Neither of us is terribly out-going, and you almost have to be, in order to get involved at a large church. Near the end of our time there we got involved in a lovely small group, and still keep in touch with some of those people. The problem was that we rarely saw those people at church due to all attending different services, I came to realize that, for us, the church we attended needed to be more about community. I wanted my children to see the same friends every week, to grow up together. My memories of the church I grew up in, was that everyone knew each other. We stayed after church and visited with our friends. We had a small youth group that we were comfortable bringing friends to. We became saved at AWANA clubs. I remember all of my Sunday School teachers--and still keep in touch with some on facebook. I had my youth pastor perform our marriage ceremony. That's what I wanted for my children.
All the kids made a craft for us

Liam looooves playing with his besties (from left to right, Liam, James, Micah, Andrew) --please tell me I got the twins right, Leslie
At the large church Bill and I went to, we didn't know anyone and we ran out the door to beat the ridiculous line of cars out of the parking lot. When we lost Faith, the hospital asked if we had a pastor or anyone to call. We didn't. Our Pastor didn't know us from Adam. Thus our hunt for a smaller local church.

We ended up at Calvary (after visiting some WEIRD churches). We were immediately welcomed into a group of young families that I love dearly and I love their children. We are a part of the community. Our Pastor knows who we are, has helped us out with advice and followed up to see how the situation went. He visited us in the hospital when we had Brendan, and I know that if we had lost a baby whilst at Calvary, there would have been a long list of spiritual prayer warriors to call and pray with. Almost every Sunday, we stay after church and let our kids play in the gym. We help at AWANA clubs. Brendan is too little to attend AWANA, but one of the Sunday School teachers happily watches him and he loves her and acts like the big cheese when we drop him off. Our kids have made, what I hope, are lifelong friends. Frankly, I wouldn't mind if there were some marriages in the group so we could all stay family--I've been working on their dowry's ;-)
Rori was worried that the day would be too long and thought we should check on her and see if she wanted to leave early. She cried when it was time to go....

Rachel, her bestie, Rori, and Rachel's sister Maya, whom I think has potential for America's Next Top Model Cycle 78

So, I think keeping Parent's Day Out as an Advent activity is appropriate. It is helping teach our children what a church community feels like, hopefully helping form memories that will help them decide what type of church they really need for their families. Thank you Calvary for helping us to do and be the church, not just attend! We are so blessed and thankful to have been brought there! And thank you to all who gave up your Saturday to watch our children!

**I do want to add a disclaimer that there is NOTHING wrong with Mega churches. Bill and I just don't have the personalities to jump in and get involved. It just wasn't right for our family at this time. They can be wonderful churches and, I know, a tremendous blessing to those that attend.


Baba HooHoo said...

Very good Mama. Calvary seems a great your Pastor and his comment on the pink shotgun! Growing up in the church was wonderful for Dad and I and you and your sister. I would not change any of that for anything. Love you! 3 Days in a row, I guess you can believe everything you read!

Anonymous said... got the twins right! :) This was our same advent activity, between the kids being gone all day and Jon's work party at night...we didn't have time to squeeze anything else in. -Leslie

Anonymous said...

Excellant post my dear. Could not more grateful for our Calvary family. Thank you to all the people that watched our children for us. We really got a lot done. Those four episodes of The Office weren't going to watch themselves! We did manage to clean a bathroom top to bottom and Jaime got to make some of her some to be famous popcorn too--Bill