There is a quiet, sacred moment, which takes place at the church from time to time, and it usually goes unnoticed. We do not always recognize it, but many of us remember when it happened to us. It is the first time we bring our child to church and leave him or her in the nursery. It is the practice of letting go, which is filled with countless emotions.
Following the addition of a child to our family, there is a break in our normal routine as we adjust. For weeks, we are getting settled at home, but the time comes to start work again, re-enter our regular schedule, and attend church.
On a Sunday morning, we walk through the front door, making a right turn down the hallway to the nursery. We are happy to be back, but everything feels new. It feels like the first time we have come. Then we reach out and hand our precious child over to the loving arms of the congregation. It is a sacred moment of trust, which extends into the years to come, as the church helps our children learn and grow.
For the last thirty years, Gwen Echols has been one of the persons in the nursery, where parents have brought their children to the church for the first time. She has been the loving arms of the church, receiving them with such care, offering assurance to parents, and providing the congregation with such support.
On Sunday, April 29, we will recognize Gwen’s 30th anniversary with a reception following worship in the Fellowship Hall. It will be our opportunity to thank her for everything she has done. Over the course of thirty years, she has cared for all of our children. Some of us might have even been children in the nursery with her.
The children of the church remain important to us, and all the rooms where they learn and grow are sacred. They are the rooms where our children and youth learn the stories of scripture, ask important questions, gain insights from others, and where we gain from them as well. We are grateful for the leadership of the church, which teaches them, cares for them, and supports them throughout their journey of faith.