It was Columbus Day weekend, and to give the volunteer teachers a break we decided that I would hold a “chapel service” this past Sunday. As a result, many families decided not to come to church at all. Attendance at the 9:30 service was 22 children, compared to 45-60 children on the previous three Sundays. And attendance at the 11:00 service was 2 children, both of whom were children of Sunday school teachers (there were also 5 teens and a couple of toddlers at this service, but they were in other programs).
The first fifteen minutes of the worship service this week were particularly welcoming to elementary age children. Susan Owicki, this week’s worship associate, made sure to mention that one of the children in the family who lit the chalice was having her fourth birthday today (the children in that family had already come to Sunday school at 9:30 and left right after they lit the chalice). The guest musician was a folksinger, and he sang a song that many children know, “A Place in the Choir” by Bill Staines. And the first hymn was an easy-to-sing “zipper song,” an African American hymn titled “There Is More Love Somewhere.” I thought to myself, Too bad only two elementary-aged children came this week!