Zora in church

Now here’s an interesting conundrum about my life:

I’m the pastor at my church who is supposed to be the “expert” on children in church. But I rarely worship with my own child because on Sundays I am up front and she is in the back with daddy.

So I really don’t know much about worshiping with kids. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

On Saturday night, I had a rare opportunity to drag her along to the closing worship service at a conference I was attending with 5 of my youth groupers. A few highlights and things I learned:

  1. Kids dance in worship. In fact, it might keep them going a little longer if you encourage it. In the aisles, too, because when else are you going to get away with that if you’re not a pentecostal?
  2. Zora likes the singing. So we played that up. Sing along, watch other people sing, color in the worship order, follow the notes with your finger, feel mama’s face while she sings
  3. How to get her to listen and not sing along with the choir? Tell her to imitate the director. She’s well on her way to a fine musical career.
  4. To the gentleman sitting in front of us: I’m really sorry she kept touching your hair. I hope you were OK with that. I’m going to go with the assumption that you were. I like it when she does that to me, so I’m guessing it wasn’t an awful experience.
  5. At a very young age, it is possible to register theological protests during the service. The denomination that was hosting this event is in the midst of a debate about children at the table (made humorous to me by their use of a child at the table to assist the pastor by asking questions about the Supper ala the Passover tradition). Zora saw the bread being broken from the back, and yelled “I want bread.” Seriously, was I going to not let her have it? Have you ever denied a toddler something you were eating?
  6. In retrospect, though, perhaps I should have given her the half of my bread chunk that was not soaked in wine. Because I’ve recently been in churches that push grape juice, I forgot and Zora got a good chunk of wine-y bread. This may have contributed to the chugging of 4 juice boxes when we got back to our seats. (And, when I say “chug” I mean it…she removes the straw, throws her head back, and does away with the box in a few gulps.)

All in all, a good evening. She was still talking about it the next night, but we think she had the event a bit confused with a trip to the circus a few months ago. After recalling that there was a singing, and a choir, and bread, she said, “And the clown came out of the piano.”

4 Responses to “Zora in church”

  1. Viv Says:

    Yesterday at Messiah many of us loved watching a girl a year or so older than Zora who was dancing up a storm during the service especially during the last hymn, “Amigos de Christos.” Her ponytail was really bouncing and she had plenty of room to dance in front of the first pew. :) Many people moved more than Lutherans usually do!

  2. ppb Says:

    The “clown came out of the piano” part made me laugh out loud. Wouldn’t it be great if that happened at church?

  3. Erica Says:

    Actually, when she mentioned that whole clown thing, my first thought was, “yeah, they do tend to cram in way too much at these worship conferences…I can see how you’d be confused.”

  4. Meika Says:

    Having been Lutheran for the first six months of her life, Chloe began receiving communion shortly after she was baptized, at three months old (hmmm, was the Host her first solid food?). Because we (okay, I) think it’s so important that the body of Christ reflects the full body of Christ, regardless of age, we always get her out of nursery for communion. And man, is keeping that little toddler hand out of the bread tough. No idea what people would do if I started feeding it to her; it’s a fairly progressive congregation, but we’re still in Holland!