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 email@example.com. 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
This is always the weekend Greg misses Children’s Chapel and we are singing a cappella or pulling in Jones before his brunch shift. In other years, Greg would be directing a big outdoor festival * and restaurants would be serving brunch. This is not one of those years.
Let’s imagine the festival crowd that might have gathered to see Jesus. There was no Coronavirus so people would have been squeezing together and standing on tip-toes, stretching their necks to see the teacher they had come to hear. Zacchaeus couldn’t see and he probably couldn’t hear and nobody liked him and he was getting pushed to the back. So what did he do? He climbed a tree.
Greg still directed that festival but it wasn’t outdoors. It was virtual. If you’re wondering where Greg has been, he’s been working – A LOT.
Every grown-up you know has been working a lot. Maybe they’ve been figuring out how to teach school. Maybe they’ve been meeting clients on Zoom. Maybe they’ve been learning how to safely shop for groceries. Maybe they’ve been learning new computer skills. They are like Zacchaeus – facing a problem and scrambling up a tree.
O why isn’t this our national anthem? Written by Katherine Lee Bates with music by Samuel Augustus Ward, this is Hymn 719 in our Episcopal Hymnal. It’s relatively easy to sing and siblings can spend many car miles arguing over whether to sing brotherhood or sisterhood (or siblinghood!). Also, it’s a prayer. In the second verse, we ask, “God mend thine every flaw.” This year, especially, those flaws seem … self evident. But those are big words for kids and this is a holiday. Enjoy it safely!
Yesterday, we looked at familiar things up close and tried to guess what they were. Let’s do it again! You can push pause on your device if you want more time to look at a picture.
Did you guess what all the things were? The Book of Common Prayer was the first thing. (That was pretty easy.) Then we saw the children’s altar. (I miss seeing the children’s altar every week!) Then we saw the inside of the candle snuffer bell. (That was tricky!) Then we saw a candle stick, covered in melted wax. (Somebody should clean that!) Then we saw an altar cloth. (It’s green for the Growing Season.)
It was a lot easier to recognize everything when we backed up and saw things from a new perspective. (Although the last picture is actually old, not new. It was taken last summer.)
And if you’re wondering what that funny sound was near the beginning of the video, that was Otto the dog – yawning. He prefers other games, like Fetch and Chase.
If any grown-ups subscribed to National Geographic World as kids, they might remember the back cover guessing game called What in the World? Maybe that’s still a thing? There were pictures of familiar objects, photographed at close range.
Chapel of the Cross kids have spent a lot of time sitting on the chapel floor, looking up and down and all around. This is a game for them. But it’s also a game for newcomers. Look around the chapel. You are welcome here.
Depending on where you grew up, you might call them Lightning Bugs or you might call them Fireflies. Whatever you call them, they’re members of the Lampyridae family of insects. Lampyridae comes from a Greek word that means “to shine.” And that reminds us of all the times we’ve sung “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!” together.
We carefully poked holes in the top of our jar before we went out into the dusky yard to catch some lightning bugs. We only kept them for a short time before letting them go. But aren’t they amazing? Have you seen any lightning bugs (or fireflies) this summer?
This is the song we always sing first in Children’s Chapel. It’s been a long time since we were in Children’s Chapel, singing together. The last time we were there, sitting in the pews, it was Lent – and we didn’t sing “Alleluia.” Now we can! So sing it loud! You can sing the call or you can sing the response or you can sing both. If you have a dog at your house, by all means grab the squeaky toy.
We’re pulling the Fisher Price Little People out of the attic to create a physically-distanced “Rainbow Full of Children.” Some of the Little People needed touch-ups with a Sharpie so if their smiles look crooked, that’s why. Their love and strength had not faded.