On Sunday, October 4, we will invite our children to offer leadership in worship for our Children’s Sabbath. Each and every year, our children step forward from the pews in the sanctuary to offer leadership in worship, by leading the congregation in prayer, song, and responsive reading. This year the children will lead us with the theme of “Come and Belong,” which is fitting on a Sunday where we also gather around the table of communion.
Every time we gather around the table of communion, we say, “Come and Belong.” It is a place of invitation, where we invite others to come alongside of us from beyond our congregation, finding a place among us to serve and to share in this journey. It is an invitation of grace and forgiveness, where we all hear the grace-filled words of Jesus, “Come and Belong.” It is an invitation to a calling and commitment as well, for our belonging is always linked to our following.
After we worship together, lifted by the voices of our children and the grace of the table of communion, we will gather around different types of tables, but tables that are also filled with grace and fellowship. We will go from our sanctuary to the Martin Luther King Park, gathering around tables for our Church-wide Picnic. Every year, following our Children’s Sabbath, we are invited to enjoy fellowship around picnic tables, which also provides us with communion and community. It is a time of invitation as well.
It is a time for every generation of the church to gather. The children will play. The youth and college students will eat. Each and every adult will fellowship with one another, but also across generational lines, as we gain so much from each other, around other grace-filled tables.
The table of communion defines all of our other tables, where we gather, building community that reflects our communion with God. We give thanks for such a day, where we will recall how Jesus says to us all, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Mark 10:14). We will “Come and Belong,” as God’s children, all of us.