Last Sunday Tom and I returned to Lewis Center United Methodist Church. On our first visit, I signed the attendance card and wrote down my email. Within a few days we got the church’s email newsletter so we knew the children would be leading worship at the 10:30 service. Of course, for the two of us, children leading worship is a bigger draw than regular services. So we were glad to attend Childrens Sunday at Lewis Center.
We arrived at the church a little early because we knew the church would be packed with families. Almost every seat was filled with people standing in the back. Pastor Tom “warmed up” the congregation with a joke and some announcements. This congregation likes to laugh and the pastors are both good at pointing out humorous situations. Then the children took over.
Three children provided special music. Lauren Petska played the prelude, “Jesus Loves Me.” She did a great job but she was so tiny that we couldn’t see her behind the grand piano. Ryan Szafranski played “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” for the offertory. He is taller than Lauren so we could see him. As the verses of the song went on, Ryan got faster and faster – as if he was eager to get it over with. He also did a great job. Lauren Sutton sang the call to prayer, “Lord, I Need You.” A beautiful preparation to the prayer time.
The children led the call to worship and read all the prayers and scriptures. They collected the offering. We even had a baptism. I was amazed at how self-assured all the children seemed. Obviously their parents practiced with them because they did a great job of pronouncing hard words such as “Ninevah” and “Tarshish.” As you might guess from those words, the theme of the Childrens Sunday service was Jonah.
Children led the first song of the morning, “My God” and we all did the motions along with them. Usually the children have their own worship hour and this is one of the videos they sing along to. Then the children’s choir sang a wonderful “Jonah” song. It wasn’t one I’ve heard before, but it was great with several soloists who did a fantastic job. Our final song of the morning was another children’s worship song “Drops in the Ocean.” I found this one on YouTube (couldn’t find the others).
Pastor Phil Rode gave an extended children’s sermon, “A Fishy Story.” His daughter Audrey helped and was a good sport about being a sermon illustration. Audrey pretended she was Jonah in the belly of the whale. Pastor Phil blindfolded her and then had her use her senses to tell what she smelled, tasted, heard and felt. He gave her a dead fish to smell and feel. Then he used a watering can to pour water over her head. Audrey laughed and played along. Pastor Phil wanted us to ask ourselves if we trust God enough to do what he tells us to do.
The pictures on the page are all from the Lewis Center UMC Facebook page. Tom and I were too far back to get good pictures of the service.
Childrens Sunday at Lewis Center was a wonderful morning of worship. We rejoiced in seeing the church packed with families and young children. As adults, we learn from their energy and the simplicity of their faith.