The summer is upon us. Last Sunday began the summer program for Children's Church at our church. Before last summer, there was the addition of a new Children's Church Head Honcho. Let's refer to her as CCHH.
Now this CCHH is coming from a different perspective than previous CC Leaders.. It is my perception that CCHH wants to do whatever is the easiest for the staff. And I get that. Understandably, the easier it is on the staff, the lower the turnover rate will be. But CCHH has turned to the parents to fill in the gaps, and the Children's Church has become more and more rigid. Seems like new rules keep appearing each week that make more work for the parents and less work for the staff. If we didn't love the church so much, we'd be tempted to leave.
The Sunday School teachers get the summer off, as usual. But instead of finding a summer teacher crew like they USED TO before CCHH took over, they now harass the parents into volunteering for the entire summer. Oh, did I say volunteering? What I meant was forced labor. Oh yes, because right before last summer began, we parents all got a lovely email from CCHH informing us that the volunteering was mandatory. And parents were obligated to volunteer at least one time for each child they had in Children's Church. That lovely email also informed us that if we did not sign up for a particular date, a date would be assigned to us and that date for volunteering would be mandatory. Have I used the word mandatory enough?
Well we paid our dues last summer. Marshall and I volunteered for three Sundays in our kids classes. But apparently that wasn't enough to keep from being harassed each and every week (in person, through email and through phone calls) to volunteer for more Sundays. By some strange coincidence I wasn't available to answer the phone every time they called. *thank you caller ID*
And I'm not exactly sure why, but we continued to be harrassed every Sunday to volunteer to help the regular teachers during the school year every time we picked up our kids. We're talking, the kind of pressure that puts Used Car Salesmen to shame.
Sidenote: Ok, just because I have three kids and adopted two of them, does NOT mean I like other people's kids. (unless you're someone I know in real life and in that case I adore your kids. Cough, cough) Having to volunteer in Children's Church is like the 9th level of Hell to me. Is there even a 9th level? Anywho... I justify it in one sentence. "Dude... it's just not my gift."
So, with Summer looming & the mandatory volunteering coming around again, I knew I had to do something. Because if CCHH came up to me in person to pressure me to volunteer, I'm pretty sure there would be a slight possibility I would go postal on her. And going postal on someone in church is highly inappropriate.
I found a way to game the system. We decided to take our kids out of Children's Church for the summer. The summer curriculum is mostly video-watching anyway. And our church just started a brand new service called the 9:01am service. (not to be confused with the 9:00am service) The 9:01am service is held in the Discipleship center. They're calling it a casual and interactive worship service. Casual because the room is filled with round tables and is family friendly. Interactive because a topic, relevant to the sermon, is introduced before the sermon starts and you're encouraged to discuss it with the people at your table. Also interactive because you are encouraged to tweet (use Twitter) during the service. They even have their own hashtag, so when you tweet, it shows up on the big screen for everyone to read. Just make sure you don't accidentally tweet something embarrassing, because that might be AWKWARD.
So this past Sunday we sat as a family in the 9:01am service. We even get our own band & live music for the worship part. Once the sermon in the regular sanctuary starts, it shows up live on the big screens around the room.
(here's a front view during the worship part)
We were sitting toward the front of the room, so there were a couple more screens and lots of tables and people sitting behind us. I would've taken a picture of that as well, but it would've been difficult to take stealthy ninja cellphone shot of them, seeing as though they were all facing my direction. Holding up the purple iPhone in their general direction might have given me away.
The kids did a great job and enjoyed sitting through the service with us. And we enjoyed the cuddle time with them.
I snapped a blurry pic of Haven and Marlie during the last song. They were swaying back and forth to the music while hugging (hence the blur).
And Marshall and Seamus were dancing together, having a great time. (also blurred as a result)
Do me a favor, and don't tell anyone we were dancing. Because we're
the frozen chosen Presbyterian.
Oh, and CCHH, just a little heads up: I will not be participating in the mandatory volunteer program this summer. Kthxbai.