Church rant

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 4:34am
becca's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

My dd is of age to have her First Eucharist this school year and our Catholic Church does Generations of Faith, as part of prep. This is a whole family, monthly meeting, includes a dinner. They have served PB as an alternate meal in the past(there is a dinner as part of it all). My friends tell me it is a station where PB is open and kids serve themselves(all ages, including younger sibs, possible, like my 3you who must avoid nuts).

I have simple reuqested they not serve the PB. They already offer a pasta bar and the meal(2 choices). I also offerred to help or to provide an alternate sandwich choice.

Got the old, "Here is what we do to clean up, but the PB will still be served. We also have another 'peanut intolerant' child. Cannot guarantee PN free environment because room has other uses, blah, blah..."

I only have requested it not be served while we attend. One night a friggin' kid's life a month without PB!! Geesh.

I will not fight. But I did send my correspondences to the pastor, just so he sees how inflexible they are being. I have made it pretty clear if it is unsafe for us, we cannot go and feel pretty unloved and hurt by our church family over such an issue.

I think the Catholics are losing yet another family.

ETA, what they will do is bleach a table before and after the meal, and not allow anyone at that table with PB, or if they have had any PB during the meal. So, a peanut free table for the meal and class. I have heard from 2 friends it is not that organized and the PB can be a free for all. Having not been to this class(because of the PB issues) I do not feel comfortable to agreeing to this accomodation when I have not seen how it all goes. It is a very large group from the email list.

Would you be okay with this?

As well as any thoughts on the big picture. There is another PA kid in the class. Why the need to serve PB for Sunday dinner when there are already 2 choices? becca

[This message has been edited by becca (edited August 22, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 5:23am
April in KC's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/28/2006 - 09:00

I'm so sorry. Maybe you can get some good instructional materials together and then tell your church leaders that, because of your connection to a larger community of allergic families, you have been exposed to the way some other churches handle it. Tell them that peanut allergies are on the rise, and choosing a peanut-free environment will make the church very child-friendly for new families. Politely encourage them to consider the path that some other churches have chosen.
For example, when we told our church (size is about 500-600) about our child's allergy, they took it to heart. They went entirely peanut free, even though we were only asking about the snacks in the Sunday School classes.
Now there are signs on the classrooms, in the church kitchen, etc., even signs designed to catch the attention of folks who might be using the church facilities for other meetings like MOPS (mothers of preschoolers), informing them of a child's medical need and instructing them not to bring peanut products into the church.
They even thought to have peanut products removed from the vending machine in the church auditorium. They even called me at home six months later because they wanted me to check the wording on the letter they were sending out for Vacation Bible School stating that VBS would be peanut-free. They have made a few newby mistakes with may contains, but I send all of Nate's snacks and am so happy to have the reduced risk environment.
I have been totally overwhelmed by their understanding and compassion. It's very Christ-like, in my opinion, for them to allow themselves to be inconvenienced for the sake of even one small person with a special need.
Good luck - and prayers.
April

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 5:23am
Sarahfran1's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/01/2006 - 09:00

That was the set up for lunch at Girl Scout camp when my DD and I first went--they put out the PB and jelly at the end of the food serving table and kids made their own sandwiches, while one table in the eating area was peanut free for kids with allergies. Or so I hear--I never saw it in action because when I saw them setting this up I went into the kitchen and told them my concerns about PB being everywhere if kids were making their own sandwiches.
They agreed to make the sandwiches in advance in a separate area of the kitchen from the rest of the food preparation, bag them and have them available for kids as a lunch option in order to contain the mess and reduce the risk. After lunch, they told me they liked this system SO much better--it was less messy, there was less waste, the lines went more quickly and people ate and moved on more quickly, and less mess meant less clean up time for the kitchen volunteers.
Would something like that work in your case? I think it's ridiculous that they won't consider just not offering the PB station, but if they insist on having it as an option, can't they make sandwiches in advance instead of running the risk of having PB everywhere from kids making their own sandwiches? If they combine that with cleaning and bleaching a table for use by people with allergies, would you feel safe enough staying to eat in those circumstances?
Sarah

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 5:36am
becca's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Thank you both. I might print these and show them to my pastor if I can?
He did call as soon as I sent him the trail of emails. He wants to discuss it in person. I will give him that.
I just do not have the energy for a big ordeal over this. Church should feel warm and welcoming.
I would be much more happy if the sandwiches were pre-made and bagged and offerred. As well as the table bleached and nut free for the evening. That would be close to school accomodations, yet they don't serve PB there, but you can bring it from home.
I was not offerred any flexibility on the established plan, is what hurts. The flexibility I was offerred was to purchase the materials at a pro-rated fee, be otherwise refunded, and educate my dd at home.
How warm and fuzzy is that? She will go where she can be safely inclided. It might not be catholic, either.
becca

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 5:47am
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Becca,
What I would do is have the allergist write a letter saying the environment/setup is dangerous for your child and he/she should not participate in that activity and that a substitute one should be found.
It's what I might have to resort to when Ryan makes his Confirmation next year and our church has those daily retreats. If they say no, then guess who will not be making his Confirmation? My participation is, of course, welcome. But maybe my input (if the activities are not in his best interests) may not be.

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 5:48am
Greenlady's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

How about offering to donate jars of soynut butter or sunbutter? (assuming that is okay allergy wise)
Although I think I would be tempted to look elsewhere - a church really should be a welcoming place. So sorry you had to go through this.

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 5:55am
becca's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Ryan's mom, I am very willing to attend another church. This is a last straw deal. It is actually a once monthly meeting for the entire school year. I don't want her excused. I want our family to go, and for them to get rid of the PB for those evenings. There are 2 other meal choices.
I am not a strong Catholic. It more family tradition and pressure. Our preschool is a very inviting Lutheran church, where we know many families because of preschool. They are great and have super youth groups, and are smaller(in a good way) than our large Catholic parish. But dh wants this and our families do(and dd will, as many of her best and nicest friends are at our church, which is a good thing).
I was offerred to home educate her(because they love their PB that much, I guess), and still let her make the sacrament. How loving of them! Paying prorated fees, of course.
Greenlady, I have offerred to help with another sandwich alternative. I also left my phone number each time I wrote an email, and got not one call, and got ignored once.
So, my number could have easily been passed ot the food coordinator or something, just for a chat. If nothing else.
Once I cc'd the pastor, the phone rang within 2 hours. LOL. But I do not get the feeling he will get me what I am asking!!
becca
[This message has been edited by becca (edited August 22, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 6:02am
becca's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

.
[This message has been edited by becca (edited August 22, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 6:17am
becca's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

.
[This message has been edited by becca (edited August 22, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 6:19am
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Plain and simple, it's the sin of sloth, pride, and [i]gluttony[/i]. It's not like they are going to let anyone "dictate" how they contro....handle things, YK? BTDT, wasn't even a catholic church.

Posted on: Wed, 08/22/2007 - 7:08am
ajas_folks's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

In one sentence: I would, personally, find another parish.
~Eliz

Pages

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

Do you have a child with peanut allergies and an upcoming birthday? Perhaps you'd like to bake a...

Do you have a sweet tooth and more specifically a chocolate craving? Those with peanut allergies must...

You already know that if you or your child has a peanut allergy you need to avoid peanut butter. Some...