September 6, 2018
When I was in seminary, I came across the writings of Presbyterian poet, liturgist, and worship leader, Ann Weems. I fell in love with her heart and her words and used many of her poems in services during my years as a Presbyterian minister. Her vision of a loving, welcoming, healing, authentic, joyful spiritual community resonated deeply with my vision of the same.
One of my favorite poems is called “Balloons Belong in Church.”
I took to church one morning a happy four-year-old boy
Holding a bright blue string to which was attached
his much loved orange balloon with pink stripes…
Certainly a thing of beauty
And if not forever, at least a joy for a very important now.
When later he met me at the door
Clutching blue string, orange and pink bobbing behind him,
He didn’t have to tell me something had gone wrong.
“What’s the matter?”
He wouldn’t tell me.
“I bet they loved your balloon…”
Out it came, then — mocking the teacher’s voice, “We don’t bring balloons to church.” Then that little four-year old, his lip a little trembly, asked:
“Why aren’t balloons allowed in church?
I thought God would like balloons.”
The poet goes on to talk about how she celebrates balloons and all kinds of other wonderful things like “children who laugh out loud and walk in the mud and dawdle in the puddles…who whisper in loud voices and run… and laugh when they fall…”
This Sunday we are celebrating our children, our youth, our parents, and our Sunday school teachers – all people who are committed to learning and growing, being and becoming, laughing and living life to the fullest!
I hope you can join us Sunday as we kick off another season of education and community and reflect on the joy of learning.
Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.