Even though we've had the "just friends" conversation with the neighborhood church and I don't think we'll be there long term, God and our children might have other plans.
Both kids have now had their first communion there.
In the church I grew up in, your first communion was a ritual of fifth grade. After a four week series of classes (including making a special altar decoration and the unleavened bread for the week), we all went down the aisle and had our first communion together (with our families, of course).
While I'm glad for the seriousness that my childhood church took in making sure everyone knew what communion was all about, it was a little artificial. Some children have professed faith years before fifth grade, while others are just going through the motions to make their parents happy.
The neighborhood church is fairly open about communion--the liturgy before communion is something like "all who have placed their trust in Jesus are welcome," and my kids have taken that literally. At the Sunday night service in February, I thought the kids were hitting the snack table while I took communion (Hubby was in the band), but AllBoy had other plans--he jumped in line behind me and took it. Afterwards we had a long talk about communion and what it means--he understood it and wanted to do it, so we decided it was ok.
This Sunday, Princess did a similar thing. On Saturday, we had a long talk about what happens after you die (sparked by the death of a friend's dog), including a profession of faith by Princess. On Sunday in morning church, she wanted to take communion too...so we let her. Though the three minutes she had to hold the cup before everyone was served must have seemed like an eternity to both of us--her because she was so eager, me because I was afraid she was going to spill it!
So I'm taking Jesus at his word... "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
Thanks, Lord, for leading my children to you. May their faith have deep roots and last a lifetime.