SpiritJam after 3 months is weaving our congregation together. Here are 5 strands from last week:
1. Acknowledging the quiet workers.
Lorraine has crocheted shawls which are given to congregants who could use a reminder that they are "wrapped in our love." She was asked to help with our CrochetJam and came despite a brutal travel schedule while caring for her elderly mother. We shared some of her Shawls in the opening CircleJam and the children were awed by her work. Our goal is to make scarves and hats for the December Mitten Tree but the final product won't be as important as the quiet respect the children are showing her, and the gratitude for sharing her skill. Is Lorraine feeling valued and nourished? I saw it in her eyes.
2. Sharing as a family.
A father, mother, son and daughter decided to join the CrochetJam together to learn from Lorraine. She gave them a start during the Jam, then shared her yarn and hooks with them to take home and work on during the week. Would Lorraine and the young family have ever met each other? Unlikely. Will the family feel the joy and pride of contributing to the Mitten Tree together? My sources say yes.
3. Inviting leadership from youth.
We hadn't seen Lucas yet this year. He's in 7th grade with soccer, school, and an active family. I knew he was into origami. He joined us as a SpiritJam leader, and committed to teaching others, adults, youth and children, for BOTH services, and BOTH Sundays! He describes his Jam with the other leaders during the opening. The participants in OrigamiJam asked to skip their rotation so they could continue making the cranes. Is that small smile he gave me an affirmation of his pride and enjoyment? You betcha.
4. Intersecting between Aesthetics Committee and SpiritJam.
The ladies involved with decorating the sanctuary came in to put the final touches on the November decor and I was eating lunch in the kitchen. We chatted about the December theme of "peace" coming up. They started brainstorming about using folded origami paper cranes for their December decor, and could it be a part of SpiritJam in November? Sure could!
5. Creating beauty around the Grounds with a DIRTJAM.
We knew that Origami and Crochet were fine motor activities, and we like to offer a variety of Jams for mind, body and spirit. So we offered a DIRTJAM, for planting daffodil bulbs around the grounds. Daffodils are a spiritual necessity for me, so this beauty was also self-serving. The children chose to spend the whole service digging, foregoing the rotation to any other activity. They ended up planting a total of 40 bulbs. Parents were dragged to the freshly dug holes, "look, look at what I did!" the children said. I'm looking forward to squeals of joy and excitement when the bulbs emerge next spring. It may be hard to tell whether it will be the children or me making the most noise!