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Archive for December, 2011

Making room at the table isn’t always easy.  Last night I was reminded how difficult it is for some of the families I am privileged to hang out with.  It’s that time of the year, Christmas is in full swing, homes are being decorated, there are numerous parties and for families with younger children a trip to see Santa and for some it’s a Christmas pageant.  Most of us complain about the hustle and bustle of the extra activity but I am thinking secretly we enjoy it!

Last night our church, Northland, had its annual kid’s performance.  We don’t just focus on the Christmas story, but rather tell the story of Jesus from Genesis through Revelation using the bible memory verse songs they have learned all year.  A few weeks prior we send home a cd allowing kids to review music and have one rehearsal prior to the evening show…..and then 240 kids get up and sing.  We invite our friends with disabilities to participate in the event and try to prepare families for what the night is going to be like.  Kids arrive at church at 4PM on a Friday afternoon after a long week in school, eat dinner and rehearse until 7 PM when family and friends arrive.  Imagine directing that many children. We bill this as low stress for our families and even with the few lines given; we try not to put pressure on our children.  We also try to encourage one of our kids with a disability to have a speaking part.  Our kids with Autism have participated and kids who use assisted technology.

For these parents, it is often a week of mixed emotion, some are so happy their children have FINALLY been included in an event, others see this as a milestone, especially if a child was not to live past 6 months, others worry about their child enjoying the experience and focus on planning for success.  For most it is not just listening to the CD in the car, but is their steps, are there going to be too many lights, what if my child’s device does not work and the list goes on and on!  As usual, the event was a success, with a few glitches, and after it was fun to watch parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers and community professionals talk with glee about the success of their kids.  The worries of what could go wrong now behind them.

I am reminded that making room at the table, is not always easy, but as Jesus always finds a way to include us at the table,  I hope that we the church universal are being intentional about Making room at our table.

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