Nancy Dougherty



One thing I loved about our church was that for at least most of the service I was able to worship without my two boys wiggling beside me.  However, from the time they joined me during the "Peace" onward was always a challenge.

 
Most disturbing of all to me was the way my boys behaved during communion.  They wrestled each other on the way to the altar, ate the bread and then walked away before they could be blessed or take a sip from the chalice, and, more often than not, one of them would place his nametag on my rear end and giggle as I stood there with my back to the congregation.
 
I mentioned my frustrations to Laura Gianello who was the Sunday School Director at the time, and soon after she let me know that Bruce would be presenting a communion workshop for children. Perfect! I thought.
 
Sean and Ryan were less enthusiastic about going to church on a Saturday and grumbled heartily the whole way there.  When we got to church Bruce and Laura were in the kitchen laying out all the ingredients for making communion bread. The boys put on polite, if not friendly faces and I left them - thinking they would be more cooperative if I wasn't there.  I left for an hour or so, and when I returned everyone was in the sacristy where Pat Henderson was showing them the priest's vestments and the altar cloths. The boys were the only children there, listening quietly, even intently. Then Bruce led everyone back to the kitchen for the communion bread they had baked.
 
I felt a little guilty.  I thought a lot of the children were going to be there, not just mine, but Bruce and Laura acted like there was nothing more important in the world at that moment than eating communion bread with my boys.
 
I think that the boys were a little more reverent when they went up for communion.  And though, I admit, occasionally I still found a name tag stuck to the back of my pants at the end of the day, I could tell that they had gained something from their Saturday in the church kitchen.  Maybe not so much because they had developed a greater understanding of the sacrament of communion, but because they were made to feel that the ritual was theirs, that they were an important part of the church, important enough for its leaders to take time out from a busy Saturday to make communion bread for them.
 
Nancy Dougherty