Saturday, December 03, 2005
MILLIE'S FIRST COMMUNION
This morning (Sunday December 4th) I wasn't preaching anywhere so I took Millie out for a couple of hours, attending a beautiful Advent service at the local Anglican Church (Christ Church Heathmont).
We sat at the back with some Sudanese children, and they made Millie very welcome. They helped her draw pictures, trace around her hand, and one of them, Alak, made up a colourful poster with this note: 'Dear Ron (the contraction of my name which I use in traditional cultures, or with folks for whom English is a second language) and Millie: It has been wonderful you coming to Heathmont. I hope you have a fantastic Christmas this year and every year. From Alak Nai'
Millie was intrigued with a Sudanese baby boy (Moses) a couple of rows away, and went and sat down next to him - then followed him around as he was passed from person to person!
During communion I took her forward, and the vicar (Rev. Janet Turpie-Johnstone) gave Millie a special blessing on her forehead and gently asked if it was OK for her to have a communion wafer. Of course it was - and because her parents attend a local Salvation Army church, this is probably the first time Millie has encountered communion.
In the children's talk and the sermon Janet spoke of desert-space and the importance of reflection (enriched no doubt by her part-aboriginal heritage...)
Next Sunday I'm also preaching on the theme of Advent, at South Yarra Community Baptist Church, and this morning was good preparation for that event.
When I'm out with Millie we can be sure to attract a lot of attention!
P.S. See our website for many articles about the situation in Sudan: these people have been through hell!