Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's Mystery Buddies Time!

Each year when February rolls around, it's time to start thinking about Mystery Buddies. If you've ever been a mystery buddy, you know how much fun it can be. 

It goes like this: Throughout February, children and adults choose a code name and sign up to be matched into Mystery Buddy pairs. At the end of February, pairs of one adult and one child are made and code names are announced. 

Though each buddy knows the code name of their buddy, and a few starter facts, their identity will be a mystery. Every week in March, clues like notes and homemade gifts are exchanged as each participant tries to guess each other's identity. 

In addition to just being fun, the Mystery Buddy program is also one of the rare opportunities adults have to meet children as individuals. Teachers meet a child as one of many in a class. Neighbors and congregants typically meet a child as so-and-so's daugher or the brother of so-and-so. Though these children may certainly become known as individuals eventually, the opportunity to begin in such a context is rare. And, speaking as one who has this privilege more than most, it is precious. While it is true that the child sitting in the pew in front of you may well become your doctor one day, or your mechanic, or the person who rents an apartment to your grandchild, the magic of church—of our intergenerational community—is that that child is also a person sitting in church, just like you. Mystery Buddies is a fun way to find out who that kid is, what do they care about? What do they like to do? Who are they? And, meanwhile, who are you

Stop by the RE table at coffee hour any Sunday in February to sign up to be Mystery Buddy. Sign-up forms are also available for downloading on the sidebar to the right under "Helpful Links." Anyone under the age of 18 can be a "younger" buddy and anyone over 12 can be an "older" buddy (youth can choose). Each buddy will choose a code name and decorate a mailbag to receive notes from their Mystery Buddy. Pairs will exchange clues about their identity each week in March. The whole program will conclude with a special event on March 29 where identities are revealed. It's truly fun for all ages, I hope you'll join in! 

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