I will begin my notes this week with a report from Andree on the visit to Common Cathedral.
“Last Sunday, a hardy group of Grace volunteers including Middle School Youth and adults headed off to the Boston Common to participate in the Common Cathedral program, where lunch and a worship service are provided each week to a community of Boston's homeless . The Grace group went well stocked with over 150 sandwiches in hand, dozens of hard boiled eggs, cookies and donations of art supplies for the Common Art program. At noon, the Middle School volunteers lined up in front of the fountain next to Park Street station and began to hand out lunch and hot cocoa to the 40 or more people who came for that week's service and food. The Grace group then joined the Common Cathedral community standing in a circle for the weekly worship service. The experience of standing in the cold for over 2 hours gave the group a very real and immediate sense of what it might be like to be cold, homeless and have no place to go. Many thanks to all who braved the cold and came on Sunday, and to all volunteers who boiled eggs, donated art supplies and formed our sandwich assembly line extraordinaire!”
This event is a perfect example of what it takes for a small number of Middle Schoolers to have a meaningful and memorable experience. Andree has been planning the date for this event for months. Before the day, shopping had to be done, and on the day, food was made. Transport was provided, and children were accompanied by adults. Both adults and children gave up the greater part of their Sunday to be there. David , who also went, pointed out that the Grace group were the only group providing lunch that day – if they had not been there, the people attending would not have received lunch. I am so grateful to everyone who went, and everyone who helped, in whatever way. Common Cathedral is a wonderful ministry, and I am so proud that Grace has provided support for it for this week.
During Lent, the Godly Play class will be learning an extended lesson called “The Faces of Christ”. It tells the story of Jesus as he grows up, his ministry, and his death and resurrection. In Firelight, we will be learning about Eucharist. The children will learn about the Last Supper, and how the part of the service that they attend in church is a solemn and wonderful experience that Christians have been sharing since Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” The Middle schoolers Will be discussing their trip to Common Cathedral, and organizing a Brown Bag Food Drive. It all sounds very busy – but I hope it will also be a time for our children to realize that we are just a little more thoughtful, and a little more considerate of others, during Lent.