Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Signs of Revitalization: The Nursery

I have been absent from writing for a while because I have been in the midst of change.  I have been at this present appointment for almost two years and the amount of change that we have been through is incredible.  It has been overwhelming at times, in both good and bad ways.  I have been on the brink of heartache and ecstasy all in the same day.  I have taken some time to sit back today and take a look at what all has happened and I am truly overwhelmed. 

Let me share one story.  This past Sunday we had a family of three visit our worship service.  They arrived about 10 minutes early with their two year old boy.  When they arrived they sat on the back row and asked one of the people sitting near them if we had a nursery.  They said yes and one of our youth volunteered to show them where it was.

She walked them to the nursery which is the first door you see when you walk into our education building.  When they walked in they found freshly painted walls, new blinds, a clean place full of toys and all visible through the window in the door.  This use to be a Sunday School Classroom made up our oldest adults.  It use to be filled with missed matched chairs and junk.  It was a dumping ground for old computers, files, and simply junk.

The old nursery was located in the back corner of the first floor of the education building.  It was a small space and the three regular children made it feel crowded.  When this was made known to the congregation, that our nursery was crowed, the older adult Sunday School volunteered to let their Sunday School classroom be the new nursery.  Over the course of a year we have transformed it and there is still some finishing touches that need to be done. 

Now back to the family that visited.  They let their two year old go back with our nursery worker after the children’s moment with the other children who usually go back there.  A background checked volunteer watched them for the rest of the service and when they came back out for communion he was all smiles and happy to join his parents again. 

I am not sure if this family will join us again.  But I do know we did everything we could to make them feel welcomed.   They were greeted with smiles and open arms.  They felt comfortable enough to leave their child in a nice nursery with caring and warm volunteers. 

It seemed small in the moment but as I have reflected on this these past two days I have been in awe of what we as a congregation have been able to accomplish.  We have made a turn in the life of the church and God’s grace and love has led us through.  God is doing amazing things in the life of this congregation and I am simply blessed to be a part of it. 


Cynthia Astle said...

Good post, Jim, about hospitality. I'm picking this up for United Methodist Insight. Email me at if you have any questions.

Unknown said...

Thank you Cynthia and feel free.