Jeffrey Kemmerer
Grace Church, Allentown

I am a parishioner at Grace Allentown. One of the notable features of the church is the lack of pews. Worship is conducted in a circle of chairs or at the altar. There is nowhere to hide. We are fortunate to have our youngest parishioner with us most Sundays. She is a one year old toddler who is really surprisingly coordinated and steady on her feet. She has amazing patience and sits quietly for much of the service.

Many Sundays, there comes a time when her exuberance (or perhaps her breakfast calories) overpowers her patience and she is off on an adventure, exploring the church and her fellow parishioners. Casting caution aside, she races from place to place, examining all the wonders she discovers — wonders that are invisible to us older folk. In her travels, she abandons her cautious and effective stride — it is too limiting. She gladly accepts the risk of bumped knees or head and relies on fellow parishioners to keep her from any real harm.

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

I plan to follow her example in my posts these next few weeks. I will favor wonder over restraint and will likely bruise a knee or two.

Perhaps she is also a model for our diocesan pilgrimage. We can let go a bit and rely on our enthusiasm to carry us on an adventure to discover new and overlooked wonders. We might risk the occasional bump or bruise while relying on each other to avoid harm.