Growing up Anabaptist

I posted Harry Spange's article on "Children in an Anabaptist Congregation" today. Reading it reminded me of my own experiences growing up in two different Anabaptist congregations. The first was a traditional Mennonite church in rural Pennsylvania. I identified with the children in Spange's article who wanted to join in communion. I remember feeling excluded from the ritual as little cups of grape juice were passed down the aisle. It was as if I didn't quite belong. When I was finally baptised, I remember the strong sense of arrival that I felt during my first footwashing.

Most of my teenage years were spent at a more liberal white collar congregation in Indiana. There relationship to children in the congregation was more explicit. They even had a document called The Privileges of the Child which outlined how the congregation wanted to relate to it's children. For an adolescent and a newcomer to the congregation, I really appreciated being called by name by each adult in the congregation. In addition, a mentor program linked each teenager with a mentoring adult, creating important relationships.

Spange's article is written from the point of view of an adult. It would also be interesting to hear reflections from a child's perspective, even if it is only through our memories.