To Natasha and Nina, 9/22/14

Dear Natasha and Nina

We were so happy that you visited with us for worship at Community of Faith Presbyterian Church yesterday. Nina is so cute and friendly and we always enjoy having little ones around.

But I noticed that you left during the service. I had heard that Nina was getting restless, and you seemed to be uncomfortable with that. I saw you leave the sanctuary and come back, only to leave again for good.

I’m sorry that you were uncomfortable. I remember what it was like to have small children in worship who wouldn’t sit still, who wanted to talk, who cried because they were bored. I remember what it was like trying to keep them occupied so that I could listen and participate in the worship. I remember being embarrassed that my child was making so much noise and was disrupting everyone’s worship experience.

But Natasha, if you ever read this, I hope you will know that almost every person in our congregation has been in your situation at some time in their lives. Everyone in our congregation has children, even if they’re grown children, or they have nieces and nephews and they know the reality of having children– kids make noise. Kids aren’t able to sit completely quietly for an hour while we sing and pray and listen to some adult speak about things they don’t understand. And if we adults are honest, kids react in worship the way we’d like to sometimes, by breaking the silence, by making noise, by kicking our feet and fussing.

The thing is, the noise of children is the noise of life. A silent congregation doesn’t have a lot of life to it; and a community isn’t whole without people of all ages being present.

I don’t have any other way to reach out to you besides this blog, so I can only hope that the Spirit of God brings you back to us. From hearing your story I think you need us– the support we can offer, the substitute grandparents we can be to Nina, the friendship we can share. But I also know that we need you, too– we need to know that new life is with us, we need the noise and laughter of children.

I hope we see you again one day.

Peace,

Rev. Sharon

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