June 8, 2011

Led by Children

The nursery renovation began with a 5-year-old.

Our church is nearly 200 years old, and some of the toys in the nursery surely witnessed the first service. We even considered carbon-dating.

But to be honest, our attention was on the adult stuff – updating the bathrooms, re-painting the choir room.

So it was a surprise to learn that our 5-year-old daughter had organized a bake sale to raise money to buy new toys for the nursery. She had made the rounds in coffee hour and had a sign-up list of treats. She made signs -- Bake sale 4 kids – and hung them around the church. She recruited other kids to help, called the adults the week before the sale to remind them, and made cookies with her grandma as her offering.

On the morning of the bake sale, she directed the placement of the tables and arranged the treats for optimal sales potential. If anyone failed to stop by the table, she made a polite inquiry, asking if they’d like to help buy new toys for the kids. I don’t think anyone turned her down.

At the end of the morning, the Sunday crowd of about 80 had donated nearly $500.
We organized a nursery committee, including the 5-year-old, to talk about renovating the nursery. Another couple who had lost a child earmarked the memorial money for the project. As a group, we talked about priorities: Safety, cleanliness and fun.

We pitched most of the toys and old furniture. We decided to use part of the money to hire an artist who painted a magnificent and inviting mural. And we purchased a pager system so parents could be contacted immediately.

And of course, we shopped for toys. Actually, I served as chauffeur and chief bag carrier, while the 5-year-old headed the shopping brigade.

Led by the determination of children to have their place in church, we celebrated the new nursery with cookies and milk.