Tag Archives: Munch

Little Black Children, Little White Children

Martin Luther King Day provided our third annual opportunity for a “Munch” to honor the spirit and mission of Dr. King.  My friend Dr. Rob Owens confirmed that from his perspective all participants felt that spirit of unity in our gathering as his little black boys sat with my little white boys listening to Ms. Pam read stories from Desmond Tutu’s Children of God Storybook Bible.

20170116_120952-2A Munch is a lunch that intentionally brings together people who are not in the same place in life, typically due to their age.  As usual, we had participants from 18 months up to at least the 8th decade.  Munches remind us of Jesus’ gospel of reconciliation which stands in opposition to the spirit of division to which this world is prone to subscribe.  In a period of time when our nation is experiencing renewed racial tension, it was a blessing to experience the unbreakable bond of the Holy Spirit between brothers and sisters who may not worship in the same building every Sunday out of habit, but readily greet one another with warm smiles and endearing hugs–the kind only black and white grandmothers in Christ can give you.

20170116_120237-2I am thankful to Micah for sharing her prize-winning “Eyes of Diversity” speech that gave great insight to the pulls and tugs she experiences as a young black woman in a (nearly) all white community.  Often thoughtless words can bring to the surface those feelings of confusion one feels when they know they belong, yet they know they are different.

img_20170116_115404930-2It takes a committed core to pull off an event, and I am so thankful for the culture of community that has been cultivated by our Munch participants.  You could taste the teamwork in the crockpots that came from a half a dozen homes to feed our bellies.  I’ve been told that the church becomes the church at the table, and I believe it.

20170116_120016-2I learned a new Latin phrase today: “lex orandi, lex credendi”.  As we pray, so we believe.  We considered several of Dr. King’s famous quotes as we shared a time of discussion, but I want to leave you with a thought from a like-minded soul, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  This is a prayer we need to pray over and over until we truly believe it:

Good is stronger that evil.

Love is stronger than hate.

Light is stronger than darkness.

Life is stronger than death.

Victory is our through him who loves us.

AMEN

Thank you Dr. King for putting your life on the line to change the world.  You are evidence that the student will get no better treatment than the teacher.

Teddy Bear Munch

IMG_20150817_113030496

Cassie reading the story of how Teddy Bears were created in “honor” of a popular story about President Theodore Roosevelt.

We enjoyed our first Munch of the new school year on Monday.  Our theme was Teddy Bears, and we drew our inspiration from a neat little board book that arrived at our house via the “Imagination Library”.  The book by Olivier Dunrea, simply titled Little Cub, tells the story of a little cub growing up all alone in the woods with no one to teach or care for him.  Ultimately, little cub’s story becomes interwoven with a lonely old bear who is very capable, but lonely.  The two become a family and of course live happily ever after.  The book highlights an important truth that is at the heart of our “Munch Ministry.”  Younger generations need interaction with older generations so that they may glean from the wisdom of experience.  Older generations find fulfillment not just in being able, but in being able to teach and pay it forward.  http://www.amazon.com/Little-Cub-Olivier-Dunrea/dp/0399166831

IMG_20150817_121909860

Mrs. Maxine reads the story of Little Cub to a rug full of children.

The program began with a show and tell time in which the children brought up their favorite teddy bear (or other stuffed animal) and introduced him or her.  A few shared precious stories about when or where they received the special friend, and some older children shared funny stories about things they had done with (or to) their toys.

After all of the children had shared, Cassie read the story about Theodore Roosevelt’s unwillingness to shoot a wild bear that had been tied to a tree.  His unwillingness to shoot the bear in such an unsportsmanlike manner became a legendary story that inspired a toy maker to create the “teddy bear” in his honor.  http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org/site/c.elKSIdOWIiJ8H/b.8684621/k.6632/Real_Teddy_Bear_Story.htm

Following lunch, the children were gathered on a rug as three of our senior ladies shared stories with them.  Mrs. Harriet Sue told the story of the last teddy bear she received from her mother before she died.  She and her sisters sometimes exchange bears in honor of their mom’s memory.

Mrs. Maxine read the story of Little Cub to the children, reinforcing the beauty and great truth found in its pages.  I elbowed her husband Jim as she read the pages about the sometimes grumpy old bear. 🙂

IMG_20150817_120935966

Mrs. Phyllis tells the tale of the teddy bear she and Mr. Bill have taken care of for 55 years.

Mrs. Phyllis stole the show with the story of the teddy bear she and Mr. Bill have taken care of together for 55 years.  The video of her bear living in the wild, and the story of finding him by a stream captivated the younger children, though a few wondered why the bear in the video had black fur, while the one in her lap was brown.  Nonetheless, the story of how her children and grandchildren took care of the bear was priceless.  As was her hope that someday  great-grandchildren would come play with her bear.

This was one of our sweetest munches.  It was such a blessing to witness three retired teachers, who no longer work in the Sunday school ministry, bless our children with their story telling ability.  Their charisma with the children reinforced the value of creating alternative settings for inter-generational activities.  It also displayed to the parents present the love our senior members have for our children.

The little cubs were blessed.  The old bears were blessed.  And the young and middle adult parents were blessed to be a part of this day that brought into fellowship a multi-generational cross-section of our church body.  May God continue to pour His blessings on us as one generation passes His love on to another.

In Him,

Wes

 

 

 

Magical Relationships

**Note: This post was left unfinished in October, but this morning as I finally took a moment and had a new thought to blog about I found it in my draft box.  When I saw these pictures it brought back memories of this great moment.  We are preparing for another such moment at our church on Monday.  I promise to share reflections on our Martin Luther King Day Munch more quickly.***

 

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.  Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. – Alex Haley

Magical Munch 028 Magical Munch 031 Magical Munch 003 Magical Munch 005 Magical Munch 007

Do you believe in Magic?  I saw magic yesterday.  I saw children who we typically isolate into homogeneous age groupings making friends with people 10x their age.  I saw seniors reading books to captivated children.  On this day I saw God’s intention for the church: one generation bringing another along, telling them the stories of their life, incorporating them in to the community.  What a blessing.

Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being. – Margaret Meed