A reflection by Mary Lou Edgar, October 16, 2022.
Last Sunday, SsAM began having Children’s Chapel again.
We have talked about resuming Chapel for some time, and it finally happened. Even though I was one of the facilitators, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a wonderful experience — one that we are hoping we can not only continue but also find more children to participate.
It was also SsAM’s first Sunday in the Season of Creation.
As a relatively new member of this community, I did not have a real grasp of the Season of Creation. However, we all thought it would be good to focus on that with the children. I believed I could pick up a great deal as we moved along. We had a beautiful reading from Genesis and they all paid attention. It is something with which everyone is familiar and we could then discuss creation. We wondered aloud why God created the Earth. We decided he might have been lonely. Seemed as good a reason as any. As we read about God being confronted with only dark, it made sense to get some light in there. He created the sun so there was day and night. He then went on to create stars, mountains, seven seas, green grass, flowers and trees. There were animals of all kinds. However, God was still lonely. That was as far as we got with the story, but we all know how it goes – God creates Adam and Eve.
Our theme for Children’s Chapel this year is the concept of “connection”.
Talking about Creation led us to think about all the connections involved in creating the world. If, in fact, God was lonely, He was looking for a connection. He created all the beauty around Him but it was not enough. And isn’t that how it often is? We can be surrounded by so many beautiful things or so many wonderful new electronic games, and we can still feel lonely. We need connections with others. We need to talk. We need to feel like we are wanted and loved and we need to love and want another in return. Those connections with others are what makes life worth living. When a person sees someone they haven’t seen in a long time and they genuinely want to hug them, that is a strong connection. Those strong connections are what make us feel like we are valued. They also give us a chance to tell others how much we value our connection with them.
We were pleased to see how receptive the children were to these concepts. They all seemed very familiar with the Creation story. They also seemed to see how important connections are. It is always amazing to think about what they are thinking. Many people don’t realize that children hear much more than we give them credit for. We had talked about the big bang and about God creating the earth. One of our leaders had suggested that maybe God and the big bang worked together. A number of children thought that made sense. When it was time to take them to their parents for the sharing of the peace, they were ready to go. When they got to the top of the steps, Father Jim allowed one child to hit the gong. What a noise! Now we will have to figure out how each child will get a turn at the gong.
This community is so rich!
God has blessed us with many talents, with the ability to make good friends, with a genuine blessing in our celebrations, and with beautiful children. “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. God’s faithful love lasts forever.” (Psalm 136:1) As we all continue to heal from this horrible pandemic, let us take time to think about and cherish all the wonderful parts of SsAM. For me, three of those will always be creation, connection, and especially children!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Lou Edgar, MSS, is a clinical social worker who founded A Better Chance for Our Children, an adoption and foster care agency that works to find permanent homes for children in the foster care system. Mary Lou was the Executive Director of ABCFOC, but she is now retired. She graduated from Neumann University and Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research. She and her husband joined SsAM in 2021.