12 December 2010

Sunday School Blooper

This is from today's Sunday School materials concerning the birth of John the Baptist.  Okay, what's wrong with this picture?  Hint: it has nothing to do with the little name-tag with "Leo" on it.  Bonus hint: the good sisters of the CSPP might be able to provide the answer...

03 December 2010

Forbid them not?

A brief history is required before the question is posed for discussion.

About five years ago I began going to one of the Bethesda homes in our area and having a weekly service with the residents. The residents of this home are for the most part fairly low functioning with the exception of two residents who speak a bit, one more than the other. Those two had at some point in time and in some manner been catechized and are communicants. One of them had resided at Watertown for a long time and thus received very regular catachesis.

These visits to the home were not usually marked by great attention on the behalf of the residents and those who worked there were oft times in pursuit of one resident or another.

Three years ago they all began to come to the church on Thursday afternoons for the service. They would walk or be wheeled in and sit in the front pews of the sanctuary. I would vest, light the candles and use an abbreviated liturgy for the service. (Invocation, confession and absolution, readings, Apostles creed, homily, Lord's prayer, words of institution, holy communion, prayer of thanksgiving, benediction and an opening and closing hymn-the same each week)

They paid attention, they were for the most part quiet. There were reactions to the Word, to the singing, to their presence at the Lord's table. They were different. Most notably, the one resident whom I Baptized was more expressive during his time at the rail. They continue to come every Thursday and on most Sundays to the Divine service as well. Three of the women who work with these residents have been catechized and have joined the Church as well.

So now to my question. Two of them are communicants and four are not. Bethesda has some catechetical materials but they are not practical for those who do not communicate. I believe that by the demonstrated change from being at the home to being in the house of the Lord, from being inattentive to paying attention, this is reflective of a change wrought by God in them and they have been prepared over these years to receive the Lord's Supper.

I am interested in your ideas and opinions. I will say that there is not the time and/or proper manner to teach them more or to examine them. I also have one little girl who is very handicapped and unable to speak whose parents bring her faithfully to church. Her siblings all commune except for the 6 year old who will soon. I believe I should be communing this 12 year old girl with handicaps as well. What say you brothers?