03 April 2011

change of venue

I had it written in my diary, I'd been reminded, and I'd reminded myself. Nonetheless I managed to completely forget, until Vandriver drove me up to the door of our building, that we had to use a different room for junior church today.

(I've obscured the faces a little)

I was really flustered by the change, by having forgotten, by feeling that the first thing I needed to do was construct big signs directing people from the entrance we usually use to another (unfamiliar) one, by needing to think very very quickly about how to adapt a completely new room to our needs. I was even more embarrassed because seethroughfaith was not with us today, and I was rushing around in front of a new helper who'd never worked with me before. When I went to set up the sheepfold on the focal shelf I realized that one sheep was missing. I don't know where it is, even now. I told the children we'd be reminded of the story, how the Good Shepherd will realize one is missing and have to go off looking for it. But worse, I don't know quite what I did wrong, but somehow as I opened one small box, everything in it spilled out and fell to the floor, including the Holy Family. A chip broke away from the Christ Child, and the father Joseph's head came clean off!

focal shelf with damage and loss

So those were the major low points. There was also a distinct lack of confidence in singing our new "Amen" song (seethroughfaith is often disparaging about her singing abilities, but today we really felt how much she had supported us last time!), and a fidgety-ness after our feast that grew to the point where I gave up on having a prayer time and instead we all played a few rounds of "pass the slipper". I'm sure there's a proper party game called "Pass the Slipper", but this was just a silliness borne of the fact that two children slipped their slippers off and started goofing around a little, and so I grabbed one and started handing it round our circle. We all began to giggle and sent the slippers around and around. Not exactly a sanitary activity for those of us about to receive communion! Our poor pastor - she had made a real effort to arrive in good time only to find that I greeted her with such relief that she thought I was complaining about her tardiness. No. She was in good time. It was just a rough week for us.

But there were a bunch of good moments, too. Perhaps the most unexpected was at the very end, just as we were preparing for communion and blessings. I lit the Christ candle, repeating the words I always use (from the baptism lesson): Once there was someone who said such wonderful things... and He said, 'I am the Light'. The five-year-old girl leaned in and said to me earnestly, My mummy has a necklace, 'The Light of the World'

William Holman Hunt (1854)
I meant to ask her mother about it afterwards - is it a reproduction of this painting, perhaps? But I forgot to ask and so I still do not know. Yet it was an encouragement to hear that connection, especially after all the silliness with slippers!


  1. I feel your pain, Storyteller. Ten minutes before the second week of Easter Club began, I was told that the school was having a Russian delegation visit us and they needed our room. (After I just finished setting everything up!) We were moved to the kitchen, where the acoustics are a nightmare. Somehow it all worked out, but it was stressful. But sounds like it turned out to be a wonderful day for the children anyway!

  2. Oh no! Sorry about my two!

  3. Please, LA, don't worry! As I'll post tomorrow, I subjected them to a lot of talk today, with not much action. It was only natural that they'd get fidgety.

  4. I recognise that necklace! It's from Taize and is shaped like an old oil lamp - Jesus is the lamp that lights the world.

  5. Aha! Thanks, FM. And that reminds me that we, too, are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). :)

  6. love it that there are great connections being made

    you were faithful to holding the junior church, a new person came forward to help you (Yay!) ... it's all church and God is in all of it ... no matter how messy

    I love it that the sheep went missing and if the shepherd is missing next time we'll know where he is ... looking for the one who is lost ... rememeber to leave the gate open so the lost one can come back in :)

    I'll be glad to be back in Jr church ... though that happens after Easter properly as we'll have those two Sundays of Godly play with a difference and I'm looking foward to those too :)

    bless you


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