Today I attended a baby shower for River, a baby girl adopted by Jason and Martha. River was just baptized 6 days earlier. The shower was hosted by 5 women with about 10 other women bringing food. About 40 people attended including River, her mother and grandmother. There were babies, young girls, teens, young women, grandmothers and even great-grandmothers.
We ate, played a silly game about children’s names in TV shows, and watched Martha open gifts. Nan made burp cloths for the baby, Deb had made a quilt, and Tamara gave a gift card for a dinner for two in a local restaurant along with free babysitting offer. Fifteen month-old Joanna scrutinized the gifts -- she glanced briefly at the clothes but fully checked out all the books and toys.
Each person came with their own life stories, mixtures of joy and sorrow. One woman’s husband has been through many cancer treatments. Another’s husband has Parkinson’s disease. One woman is fighting depression and another is having trouble with her knee replacement. We know these things about each other but we didn’t talk about them. There will be a time for those conversations but not today. Today we talked about how to retire gracefully, how to deal with a child who has an earache and who was winning the basketball tournament. Today we talked about the good food we shared, the cool things young mothers use that the older women never got to and how we enjoy these events.
These conversations were not directly about faith but they are very important in nurturing our faith community. These conversations help us know each other. They help us better understand us that we belong together in this community, a community that is centered around serving and worshiping God.
River will not remember this event, of course. That’s okay. This event was not just about River. It was about a church family coming together to celebrate the gift of life and the joy of being together. It was one more step toward fulfilling the baptismal vows we had made just a week earlier. These people will be there to see River grow and become part of the Sunday school, Girl’s group, youth group and choir. This group will encourage and stand by her as she goes through the ups and downs of life. We will walk along side her as her faith grows just as we walk along side each other, knowing that we belong to each other and to our faithful Savior Jesus Christ