A response to "Toddler on the loose" Case by case: Case by case

Read Ellen Blue's narrative first.

As a mother who raised three children while serving in pastoral ministry, this case awakened many memories, both fond and fraught. I remember the weighty responsibility of parenting young children, realizing that how I practiced my faith would shape the ways my children would make meaning of their world. I remember being torn between the need of many church members for Sunday worship that was a quiet center in their busy lives, and my children’s need to wiggle, whisper and occasionally visit the pew of a friend during the service. And I remember my mix of mortification and delight one Sunday as my own three-year-old processed solemnly up the aisle mid-sermon and took her place next to me at the pulpit.

I worried about the congregation’s reaction to that event, but it sparked no conversations in the parking lot or the coffeehouse. Today my now grown children describe their childhood in that church with fondness and gratitude, recalling a host of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who were their “church family” not simply in name but in deed, week after week.