Church is being together. We sing, we pray, we pass the peace. We share the bread and the wine.
Church looks different right now. We’re not in the same place but we’re still together. We’re thinking about each other. We’re singing and praying. We’re passing the peace by calling our friends. Or maybe we’re sending them emails or letters. The bread and the wine are still part of us, even if we’re not at the table.
The Chapel of the Cross is our church, and we are the Chapel of the Cross. We are the church no matter where we are, which is kind of funny to think about. How are you the church today? How are you singing and praying and passing the peace? How are the bread and wine a part of you today?
For more information about programs for children and families at the Chapel of the Cross, contact Boykin Dunlap Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org. To support the mission and ministry of the Chapel of the Cross, text “COTC” to 73256 or follow this link: https://secure.accessacs.com/access/oglogin
Ruth Crawford Seeger was a modernist composer who also collected folk songs for children. Her book American Folk Songs for Christmas is a marvel. It begins with songs about stars and shepherds and tells the Christmas story through hymns and carols from the early days of Advent all the way to “Old Christmas” (Epiphany). This is one of the first songs in the book.
It was from the Seeger Family Singers that we first heard What Month Was Jesus Born In, a Children’s Chapel favorite. Ruth Crawford Seeger also set some of Carl Sandburg’s poems to music.
It’s the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of a new church year. We’ve all gotten pretty good at waiting during the past nine months but Advent requires preparation, too. How are you preparing for Christ’s birth while you wait for Christmas?
Today, Sarah Deitz teaches us about waiting and preparing. Jonah shows us how to start building a nativity scene from our Faith-at-Home supplies. If you don’t have Faith-at-Home supplies, don’t worry! You can use any box to build a stable. You can use an egg carton or a matchbox or a pile of straw to make a manger.
And while we’ve gotten *pretty good* at waiting, we’re not waiting for Christmas carols. It’s a pandemic, people. Let’s sing about joy. Let’s look for angels.
It’s the end of the church year – and what a year it’s been. This post is for the grown-ups (though Jones is really good at altering lyrics to make them child-appropriate and Zan is like the muppet Animal on the drums and Greg is playing a melodica so … there’s something for the kids here, too).
For nearly nine months, you grown-ups have been doing the impossible. When Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, “There’s this thing you need to do,” did that thing seem any less daunting them home-schooling and Working-From-Home and preparing three meals a day? You have been as holy and determined as Jesus’ mother. You have been amazing.
“Black Friday” is the day of the year that stores usually sell enough stuff to get out of “the red” and into “the black.” “The red” is debt. “The black” is profit. When a store is in “the black,” people are shopping and buying and the store is making money. When the store makes money, it can pay its employees. That’s good! But are people buying things they need? Are they buying things they really want? What would you buy if you had a lot of money? What do you think you really need?
That’s where we’re staying for Thanksgiving: Home. If you’re traveling, be safe. And remember that Home is wherever and whenever you feel love. Maybe Home is like Jesus. It can cross miles. It can be in all times. It can connect you to what matters most.
The church year is about to end but COVID? We don’t know. Thanksgiving plans? They’ve changed. (And they might change again.) We feel like we’re sitting in limbo, waiting. We’ve gotten really good at waiting this year.
We’re still thinking about friends and how much we miss them and how close they are even when we’re apart. We’re reaching across screens and phone lines and the United States Postal Service to hold our community tight. We’re inspired, we’re encouraged, we’re reassured.