We celebrated

We celebrated 1On Sunday morning, our church did something different. All the kids classes were cancelled and everyone (ages 0-100) attended the service together. There was music, a laughter-filled puppet show, a children's story, and family communion. Afterward, everyone sat outside and ate pie. Children were everywhere the whole time - babies toddling, little ones skipping through the grass, and older kids impressing their friends. It was a beautiful scene. (I should have taken a picture w/ my phone).

I liked that "family way" of doing church. I liked it when the elderly great-grandma with the crinkly smile shook my daughter's hand. I liked seeing children bop up and down the steps to the music.

"I wish we could always be together like this at church," I told Tim afterward.

At 3 o'clock, we went to a neighborhood party. Five families. Fourteen kids under age 8. Awesome.

We celebrated 2The whole caravan went trick-or-treating together. Our 4-year-old dressed up as Cinderella. Our 19-month-old was the cutest cowgirl in the wild, wild west. After awhile, we sat in our driveway. Our 4-year-old yelled, "Candy! Can--deee!" to all the people passing by. She even dumped HER entire trick-or-treating bag into the bowl to hand out to other costumed kids.

In the end, we DID celebrate. We celebrated Christ. We celebrated friendship. We celebrated the fun of dressing up.

This morning, our 4-year-old woke up and said, "Why does Halloween have to be only ONE day?" I couldn't help but smile.

We may not always celebrate October 31st exactly like this, but this year it seemed just right.

"FUN" Question: What is your absolute favorite candy?

"SERIOUS" Question: If you attend church, are children welcomed in the service or do they attend separate classes? What would be your preference?

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30 comments on “We celebrated”

  1. Fun Question - I love black licorice, snaps, licorice wheels and anything else that has black licorice in them

    Serious Question - I'm LDS, so just like the others described, we have 3 hours of church and I love the different focus of each hour.

  2. Analise saw your lovely Cinderella and just gasped! "Oh Mommy! She makes a beautiful princess! Do you think she would like to play princesses with me one day?" My response: "I sure hope so! Maybe one day *soon* we will get to meet them!"

  3. Peanut butter cups.

    We are Catholic and children are definitely in church with us. Sunday school is scheduled at a time when there is no Mass going on. Our church does not have a nursery or cry room. I wouldn't mind having a cry room to take my sometimes difficult toddler or to nurse my baby, but we are limited by our building and space issues. I would venture to say that virtually all Catholic churches schedule religious education in such a way that kids are always at Mass with their parents. Adult Bible studies are not happening during Mass. It is a communal service, all are welcome. In my opinion (and I say this having six kids, one of whom is sometimes VERY challenging) kids should always be in the worship service with their parents. The Sunday service is about worshiping as a community, and that includes the oldest and the youngest.

  4. They are darling!
    And your church sounds perfect!!!

    We do bible study as a family, but church has a special class for the little ones. I wold much rather have a "family" type church!

    It sounds like all of you had a great time!!!

  5. Fave Candy-Heath or Skor (I love toffee)

    Church question: We have church for 3 hours on Sunday. We begin with a traditional service where we have the Sacrament (similar to Communion, Bread and Water in rememberance of the Blood and Body of Christ) and speakers giving Talks/Sermons, hymns etc. The entire family attends this service. If a mother or father has to take a fussy baby out in the halls, they can still hear the service in the hallway. The next two hours are spent in separate classes for the children and the adults. The children are taught in a way that they can understand and learn to love the gospel and adults are able to come to better understand the scriptures in classes focused on them. It is a long time, but I really feel like I gain so much from the time I spend at church. Each person who attends has a responsibility and is either being taught or teaching others. We have the opportunity to serve others and grow ourselves. I love it!

  6. Favorite Candy...if I had to choose just one it would be Reeses Peanut Butter Cups!

    Church services: children are welcome at ours and I love that. I am never distracted by the noises that children make, because they are children. I do, however, get annoyed at adults who talk during services. All should be welcome but all who are adults should know to socialize after the service.

  7. I love reese's.

    We are Catholic as well, so kids are welcome. Although we do sometimes get disapproving looks from some people if they are loud. Some churches have cry rooms that you can hear and see the mass from, but they can't hear you (or your child). Our kids always go with us. Our church has a program for 3 & 4 year olds to attend during mass during the school year. We plan on sending our daughter to it, but will also attend a different mass so that she gets the experience of mass as well. I think church should always be a family affair.

  8. I've been **stealing** from my kids' Halloween bowls ALL week!

    We are Catholic so our church service is always the same and predictable for the kids. There are no separate classes and we try to avoid nurseries if one is available (usually not) like the plague. I think that's why my {almost} 4yo does so well at church now. It's all he's ever known on a Sunday so he knows what to expect and he knows how he can participate and for the most part he knows why we're there. My 18 mo obviously isn't old enough to be as patient and that's OK with us. Some Sundays are my most stressful day of the week. Other Sundays I sit there and smile at my whole family in the pew thinking, "This is exactly what I wanted when I dreamed of having a husband and kids." So no matter what, we keep going every week knowing that we're planting a tiny seed and hoping that it will blosom as they grow.

  9. Reeses are my favorite Halloween candy! I like having the kids go to Sunday school most Sundays and a few times a year, like on Halloween, Easter and Christmas Eve have a special service where the kids are welcome, too. When I'm in church I like to have uninterrupted time to reflect and that can be pretty hard when there are antsy little ones tugging on you the whole time.

  10. I would LOVE to do a combined service! I think children are the most important part of church and I honestly think it's a shame people "miss out" on them. Especially for worship! I was sorry to miss last Sunday, we took a much needed family day, but it sounds like it was perfect! We ended up letting them dress up and went to the harvest party at CCC, the kids loved it :)

  11. I love Twix! We have three hours of church each Sunday. The first hour, everyone is together for the service. Then for the last two hours the kids (18 months and up) and the adults go to different classes. I get to play the piano for the kids and I love it!

  12. Milk chocolate toblerone is my favorite candy. YUM!!!
    I, like Becca, am LDS and always have been. I love that one of the central focuses of our faith is families. I enjoy being able to sit with my husband and our girls for the first chunk of church every Sunday. I also love that after that period of time, they are instructed more on their level in classes where they can learn about Christ and His gospel. My kids absolutely adore their teachers there. (Sometimes I even get to sub in their classes - so fun!) They also love singing time. They get to learn some "wiggly" songs as sitting for that long just isn't fun, but their songs about the Savior are absolutely incredible.
    Each year, the children ages 3-12 get to provide the "service" for the first chunk of worship services. It is my favorite service of the year. The kids work hard to learn their songs and their speaking parts. Watching my 4 year old recite her one line testimony with confidence in front of a packed congregation of adults moved me to tears. Children's perfect faith is incredible. It is hard to watch them and not feel their love for Christ. It is always a powerful Sunday!

  13. I've been a sucker for Twix lately.

    I've been LDS my whole life, and how they do it seems just right to me. The first hour and a half is the worship meeting and families sit together and worship together. It's not always the most reverent meeting, but the children are able to see their parents worshiping and learning, and they learn from that example. After that meeting is over, children, teens, and adults separate into different classes.

    Children's classes are divided by age group, where they are taught lessons about Christ and the scriptures that are specifically geared to their age level of development. Finally, the children all come together for an activity and singing time, where they are taught fun songs and reverent worshipful songs.

  14. Sweet tarts!!

    We are attending a small church plant and currently the kids are in a different room. Andy and I are in the beginning stages of planting a church with a denomination...so initially kids will probably be with us!

  15. Our church is a very small church and we have not a building for it yet so we rent our local farmers market kitchen, so we do church and then lunch all together, there is wiggles, giggles, and preaching, what else can we ask for. Children are a BLESSING and they are allowed to attend church like all of us :-)

    We do trained our little one to have good manners, like being respectful when our pastor is talking and they need to be patient and be still but it's a learning process and that they will be using later in life too, so it's not a bad thing!

    My husband and I do have a thing for kids that do and play in a room instead of being hearing the Word of God, they are hearing it at home and Church and that is how we like it, but all families are different!

  16. I love Reese's PB cups and Twix caramel!

    Your Sunday Church service sounds awesome! Growing up, our church (Presbyterian USA) was a family affair. We had Sunday School divided by age groups, and then one church service for everybody. There was a day care for those who CHOSE to send their kids, but they were not pressured to put them in day care. Unfortunately we have moved since then, and I am having difficulty finding a church where I like the message AND children are welcome. I don't want our 2 year old in church day care and would love a church service like yours.

  17. The Nun at our church completely redisigned our Sunday School program so that the children attend class and then are brought to the 10:00 mass where they meet their family in the church. Our 10:00 mass has become the family mass. We have no cry room, babies and infants are welcome. Once a month we have the children's choir sing (my girls are part of this) and children participate in the mass with the readings, ushering and passing out the song lyrics.

    My children look forward to attending church, sitting with their friends, and visiting after the mass is over. I applaud the Nun for making this choice and dealing graciously with the few families that complained (about having to attend church as a family! go figure.....).

    Church is an important part of our family. It keeps us centered and grounded in who we are and who we want to become.

  18. The church we attend is very huge. But we all do praise and worship together. Even the teens come up to give testimonies, its awesome. Once praise and worship is done, the children and teens each head to their own ministry. I once peeked at the teens ministry and I saw teens worshipping with all their hearts, some were on their kneels and faced down shooked by his mercy. The children ministry had kids drawing pictures, reciting godly poems, and captured in his glory. I prefer that its separated this way. My daughter gets to be with other kids, learns new things everyday.

  19. My absolute favorite candy is a Godiva dark chocolate truffle. :-)
    In our church, children are "allowed" in the service, in a designated area, but I wouldn't necessarily say "welcomed" unfortunately. Our son always attends with us, even though there is children's "programming" (aka: daycare) for his age. Sorry the sarcasm. It is a constant frustration of mine (even at a church I otherwise love) that our services are not integrated and that the normal activity and sounds of children are considered a distraction rather than normal. My son loves the worship in the main service, always has since birth, and he will once in a while say to me in the middle of the teaching, "He's talking about God/Jesus." I do believe that even at his tender tiny age, he picks up something in the "adult" service and keeps it in his little heart. I just refuse to put him in another room where one of the workers put it "we keep your child so you don't have to be distracted in the service." This was her answer to me asking, "Do you do anything to teach or nurture the children?" I could say a lot more, but won't for now. It's a bit of a sore spot for me.
    Your October 31 sounded fun. We had a very happy celebration here as well. Full of activity and fun!! Our little boy was Mickey Mouse, and I was sad to see the day come to an end--it was that fun! :-)

  20. For us, *every* Sunday is like that. We attend a family integrated church - there are no age-segregated ministries, no youth group, no children's church, no nursery. We love it. There are children everywhere. Our pastor/elder has preached more than one sermon while wearing his (sleeping) baby in an Ergo. It's a challenge for whoever is preaching, to engage the children with the message while not dumbing it down for the grownups. But so wonderful to worship as a family.

    1. Mommy Blawger,
      Where do you go to church? I LOVE that your pastor has preached wearing his baby. I also love that there are no age-segregated ministries and that family worship is the normal. I would love that.

    2. Your church sounds wonderful! I especially love that your pastor sometimes speaks while babywearing. Awesome.

      Questions for you:
      * How long is a typical service?
      * What is the "order of events" for the service?
      * Is there a separate "kid's story" or is there just one message?

  21. I am loving on Twix right now, but I think if I had to live without any one candy I wouldn't survive without York Peppermint patties! The small ones, the big ones have the wrong combination of chocolate versus filling!

    Our church allows anyone in service. There are table in the back with crayons and during the summer there is no child care/S.S. for those over 5 so there are lots of kids. Personally I like knowing I have the option, but I don't expect my energetic 3 year old to sit still and quiet through the sermon. I wouldn't get anything out of it and that would be frustrating as our pastor's messages have really been helpful/convicting lately.
    I like when we have all church events though so we do have time to hang out as a family with everyone!

  22. I think I will always have a soft spot for Starbursts. They were my favorite when I was younger, and I love them still. (Although, an excellent chocolate will win the day now!)

    We do go to a Church where the children are welcomed and encouraged to be in the service. Starting at age 4, they can go out during the sermon for there own Sunday School time, and then they come back in and join everyone again for the rest of the service. Not everyone does this however, many families keep their kids in the service with them the whole time. We like to have our kids with us, and most every Church we have been to has been structured this way. Even the Churches that are not have always been very welcoming of us having our kids in the service with us.

    Growing up, I went to a Church where the first hour was Sunday School, and then all the families went to the second service time together, so this is what I am most accustomed to. I love it that way! I grew up knowing people of all ages, interacting with them, and now I can see my children doing the same. They love getting compliments from the older ladies. :)

  23. I think Reese's are my fave or sweet tarts mixed with tootsie rolls (my bro & I were always creative w/ food!)

    As a convert to Catholicism from Methodism, one of the biggest surprises was discovering that, at least around here, Catholic churches don't have nurseries or Sunday School during the service. Attending Mass is always a family affair. At my Methodist church I never saw more than 1 baby in the service, but at my Catholic church I'll sometimes see several dozen babies! I love that I don't feel pressured to leave my son. We don't do daycare or babysitters-it's nice to feel like I'm supported in keeping him with me in church too!

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