Tag Archives: church

Church starts at 9AM on Sunday

I’ve heard this phrase for most of my adult life.  I say ‘adult life’ because before that, it wasn’t said as a reminder, it was assumed I was going. My parents made sure of that. As if I hadn’t heard this enough over the last 32 years, it increased to be every single week once my wife and I bought a house in St Louis Park, about 6 whole minutes drive from the church.  My parents have been lifelong participating members of the church community.  I had always joked with my mom that I spent so much time there from 0-18, that I had enough services saved up, I could afford to miss a few as an adult.  She didn’t find this as funny as I did.  My father has been in the choir as long as I can remember and was at one time the president of the congregation, and serves on various boards.  My mom seemingly spends every free moment of her time at the church, volunteering in some way.  When my mom brought my older brother to the 3-year-old Sunday School class at the church, he had a really hard time when she tried to leave the room.  The teacher at the time suggested that she stay, and she could help teach the class that day.  My brother is now 36, and my mom has been Teacher Carole, teaching the same 3-year-old class ever since.  She has had students in her 3-year-old class that have grown up and had their children in her class as well.  My hope is that our little man can participate in his grandma’s 3 year old class in a few short years.

I make mention of all of this because I feel it is important.  My parents both make a point to tell me every Saturday that church starts at 9AM on Sunday.  I feel like it is for a slightly different reason now.  I know that their wish is that we go every Sunday, like them, believe and feel all of the messages, like them and make it a point to serve our community, like them. Church is very important to my parents, and so are my wife, my son and myself.  I feel like the reason for the weekly reminder has changed.  When we go, it is obvious to me that my parents have a sense of pride when they introduce us. This is especially evident when they are showing everyone their new grandson.  And I feel this when members of the congregation comment to me about my son Mac. I feel like this is one of the many things that I have an increased understanding of now that I, myself, am a father.

Maybe I had missed the meaning of these reminders all along…

Mac and Daddy at Church.jpg

Mac and Daddy surprised Oma and Papa Paul at church this morning!


Big Baby Jesus!

Several weeks ago I received an email invitation for Mac, my wife and I to represent the Holy Family at one of the church services on Christmas Eve.  Assuming this invite went out to every member of the church who had a child this year, I waited about a week to respond to give others ample opportunity to volunteer.  I figured we may as well let them know we were available, since we were planning to attend the 10PM service that night anyway. Included in my response was the following:

“My family would be available Christmas Eve.  We should make mention that our son, Macallister, is 10 months old and he is big for his age.  Another newer, perhaps smaller baby, may make for a more convincing baby Jesus. However, if you do not find any other volunteers we would be happy to do it.”

Within a minutes, we had a response thanking us for volunteering and confirming that it was indeed us who were on for the 10PM service.  They dismissed my concerns about his size, and were just happy that we accepted one of the more difficult to fill time slots.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve morning, the day of the big performance. Mac woke up with one eye crusted shut. That’s right, Mac had pink eye. Immediately, I felt a little upset, saying how did this happen and who gave this to him. But those feelings were quickly replaced with disappointment, as clearly this puts his appearance at church in jeopardy. We called the doctor and they confirmed our suspicion, and prescribed eye drops. The doctor recommended that he not partake in the planned evening activity as he would be contagious for 24 hours.

After getting the prescription and administering the first round of drops, the discussion began about whether or not we should actually keep him home from church. After all, it’s not like anyone would be touching him or his eyes. We got opinions from the grandparents, and ultimately it came down to my wife and I making the final decision. I was convinced that it would be fine and he would be sleeping and no one would get pink eye from him. However, there was a point later in the day when I determined that I’d better not push any further or it might just be a Joseph and a Jesus, and no Mary…

Ultimately I do feel that we (mostly my wife) made the best decision for Mac, and for the rest of the congregation. It would’ve been awful if even one unsuspecting member wore up with an unfortunate Christmas present of pink eye from Mac. I did feel bad that we were not able to go, and that with such short notice, they would likely go without a baby Jesus at the late service. I offered to wrap myself in soft linens and lay in the manger, but that wasn’t as funny to anyone else as it was to me.


I prefer playing with the bows and the wrapping paper over whatever is in this present! -Mac