One of my favorite bloggers, Gordon Atkinson, has returned from a one-month blog hiatus with some nice reminiscences about children collecting the offering at his church.
His stories remind me of a recent incident with Samuel. A few minutes into the service, the younger children leave the sanctuary to attend ‘Godly play’ with Miss Bess for much of the service. They return later, usually during the offering.
On their way out of the sanctuary, Brother Odell, a 99-year-old former minister who worships with us, often gives each child a quarter to put into the offering plate.
One Sunday, Samuel returned from Godly play and sat down with Hannah near the choir loft where Katie and I were sitting and from where we have a good view of the entire congregation. When Samuel got to his seat, he remembered his quarter, but the offering plate had already been passed through his row.
We motioned to Samuel to get up and find one of the ushers who was standing at the ends of the rows to manage the passing of the plate.
Samuel got up and started toward one of the ushers. But he was determined to put his quarter into the collection plate himself, not just hand it to an usher. As he got closer to the usher, the usher started the plate down a row. Samuel stopped, hesitated, and then headed toward the other end of the row. By the time he got there, the usher on that end had already started the plate back down the next row.
By this time, the entire choir and many parishoners were watching the unfolding drama. Samuel hesitated again, and then started back toward his seat. Apparently, he had decided to give up. But when he turned around to go back to his seat, he saw Katie and me frantically, but (hopefully) discreetly, motioning for him to head back to an usher.
Finally, he turned around, spied an usher and ran over to him, arriving just in time to drop his quarter in the plate. His mission finally accomplished, he went back to his seat. I thought the choir was going to break into applause at that point.

Categories: Religion