Children’s Sabbath I: The Service

This Sunday we celebrated Children’s Sabbath. I was put in charge of most of the shared, bilingual service. What I did was meet with the kids during out class time a last week and go through the service with them, soliciting from them what they wanted to say at each stage. It took some doing, but I got a dry-erase board full of things, and then I sat down this past week and put the fragments of what they said together into something with syntax.

It ain’t literature, but I thought it went over pretty well, got some laughs, and even moved some people who spoke to me afterwards. The kids seemed to love it and were very pleased with themselves, which I think is a good thing when our culture is basically telling them “you are worthless unless you consume”.

The kids were really happy that I included all that they told me they wanted to say (with a few exceptions I have to admit, but a very few). I feel like my credit rating with them went up a little. I told them it would be their words, and then delivered.

(Following this will be two more related posts – the first is my prayer, and then I’ll have a tirade)

–> You may notice that the kids are doing the invitation to communion and the great prayer. I thought that was cool – three kids up there at the table, leading the congregation into communion. We’re talking about communion in class, and I thought, why not a practicum?

WELCOME (pulpit and lectern) Yanyan and Henry

Welcome to Calvary Presbyterian Church. You might be wondering where the adults went who are usually up here. The reason you see kids standing here welcoming you is that we’re taking over this Sunday.

We’re also going to have our friend Albert Lee here with us. He’s helping by translating what we say so everyone can understand us.

This Sunday we’re going to be in charge of a lot more than usual. We’re here to show you that kids can make a difference in the life of the church. We’re also here to remind you that we’re all supposed to take care of children, and of anyone who is less fortunate or who can’t take care of themselves.

Now, to get on with the welcome. Do we have any new people here this morning? (Let new people introduce themselves or let them be introduced, clap, etc. Then) Welcome to worship this morning, we’re glad you’re here.

Also, who has a birthday in November? (When people stand up, ask what day their birthday is. Then) Ok, stay standing for a minute, because we’re going to sing a song for the people who have birthdays this month. (Sing)

Let’s worship God together.

PASSING THE PEACE (portable mic or pulpit/lectern) Xu and Henry

Peace is a gift of God, and it is a gift we’re supposed to share with everyone, not just because peace is better than war, but because peace is about making friends with the people around us.

At Calvary we pass the peace to each other by saying “peace of God” in a different language each Sunday. This Sunday, we will say it in Mandarin. So pass the peace to each other, saying “Ping An”.

THE OFFERING (portable mic or pulpit) Yanyan

This is the part of the service where we ask you for moolah. This is because we need the moolah to do what we do as a church. We use what you give to do the work of God’s family.

But its not only about the moolah. What we give is just a sign for the real offering, which is giving our whole selves to God. So when you give, think about giving everything to God.

COMMUNION INVITATION (portable mic) Emma, Yanyan

This is the feast of God! People from all over the world flock to this table and have Communion together.

This isn’t just an adult’s table, or Calvary’s table, or a Presbyterian table, but it is Christ’s table, and everyone who wants to follow Christ is welcome.

Don’t come because you’re full, but come because you’re hungry. Don’t come because you’re strong, but come because you’re weak.

Don’t come because you want to claim something, but come because God has claimed you. Don’t come to the table just to make a point, but come to the table to receive God’s grace.

GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING (portable mic) Alene, Yanyan

Please join us in the prayer of thanksgiving.

Thank you God for creating flowers and tress and all the other plants. Thank you for animals and for hominids and for creating all of us in your image. Thank you for creating time, and giving it a shape, so that we have day and night, the work week and the Sabbath, and all of the holidays that we celebrate. Thank you for all of the good things in life – cars and videogames, books and anime, all of our friends and our families, and thank you for creating us, because we are special.

Thank you Jesus for sharing this Communion feast with us, for calling us to this table to be together. Thank you for teaching that children are part of the kingdom of God. Thank you for showing us how to love each other and to care for each other, and for always showing us the love of God for everything that God made.

Thank you Holy Spirit for giving us our loving communities, especially our Church, where we go to learn how to live our life in your light. Thank you for bringing us all together, and for speaking to us and guiding us.

Thank you for our lives, and for all of the greatest gifts, and for your love for us. Thank you for everything. Amen.

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