This Sunday was Clare's dedication service at Christ's Church for Brooklyn. That's Joe anointing Clare's foot with some extremely fragrant "sweet-smelling stuff" (in fact, she's still smelling pretty sweet, which is great since, you know, babies don't really smell that sweet very often or very long) while Clare giggles right on cue. Isn't that an awesome picture?
I loved the Thanksgiving service at Trinity, and found it really meaningful that Brent's mom could be there, that some members Brent knows pretty well stayed after church to attend, and that Anne Marie celebrated it. But perhaps because I am still an "outsider" to Trinity and to the Episcopal Church, the Thanksgiving service was, for me, a theological declaration more than a communal celebration. It was speaking to God about Clare; expressing gratitude, asking for wisdom for ourselves as we raise her, asking for God's blessing in her life. But last night's service, while still doing these things, was so much more about the community. Last night, we were a family unit, but we were also part of a larger community of faith. Last night, Clare was our daughter, but she was everyone else's child, too.
I'm not saying these thoughts were missing from our first thanksgiving, but that I experienced it very differently. Part of the difference is me, and part of it is the rite itself.
But mostly, I am so happy to be able to say to my daughter, you are a child of God, and you belong in any family of God you find yourself in: at Trinity, at CCfB...at St. Barnabas, at Manhattan, at Enumclaw Community Church...