The congregation I serve has an annual Turnings Service, recognizing the births, deaths, and other transitions in our community.
This service is meaningful and emotional for many, and we encourage older children and youth to attend.
For our youngest children we have Turnings, Too- a parallel chapel service where we talk about the turning of the year and all that may have changed in our lives. For each sharing the children can drop a glass bead into this dish of water--light blue for the joys, and the darker colors for the struggles of life.
Every child has known joy and sadness. They welcome new cousins and aunts and cats and turtles into their lives. They feel the loss of death, of friends moving away, of changing family configurations. They recognize that some things are a mix of good and bad--a hospital stay and then recovering, missing loved ones while on a long but exciting trip.
And we build community in our sharing, knowing that church is a place where people want to celebrate our joys with us, support us through our struggles, and take interest in our hopes and dreams.