Youth Sunday 2019
"Will you nurture these children in Christ's holy church, that by your teaching and example they may be guided to accept God's grace for themselves, to profess their faith openly, and to lead a Christian life?"
Do those words sound familiar? They should! We say them together every time a child is baptized. It's the congregation's way of joining the kid's parents in the Christian raising of children. When I speak to parents who are interested in having their baby or youngster baptized, I always say this part of the service is sort of a moment where they surrender some of their parental rights to the church! Honestly, most parents are relieved to share the responsibility!
This commitment is the basis for our pleas for help with children's Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, youth group, etc. What difference does it make? Well, come to worship this Sunday and you'll see. It's Youth/Confirmation Sunday. The youth will lead the entire service, top to bottom. They will preach, pray, lead singing, and serve communion. Our confirmands, Jackson Dominick, Linus Drenner, and Clark Krov, attended a confirmation retreat in January, visited a couple of different faith traditions, and an end of confirmation retreat last weekend. Thanks to their mentors, Brian Petersen, John White, and Brian Wolff. All of us will be easily recognizable Sunday, wearing the stoles we made on retreat.
Throughout the "Grace Space"-- the area just inside the doors from the front parking lot; you'll be hearing that term over and over again between now and Easter-- you'll see signs of Confirmation. Each student created a timeline highlighting 10 important life events, and their personal crest. The crests and stoles each tell their own unique story of the individuals. Make sure to ask them questions. It's a special day in their spiritual lives, when they claim Christian faith publicly for the first time. Linus and Jackson were baptized as infants; Clark will be baptized Sunday. He'll be the second student we've baptized this year.
Beyond Confirmation, this Sunday is a day to celebrate the young people here at Grace. What a wonderful, crazy, gifted bunch of kids we have! So many churches are hoping to have any youth group; but no one can claim a group like Grace's. Our children and youth ministries are growing, not declining. Thanks to Janet Hayes who leads the ministry, but also the many adults who give countless hours to teach, mentor, host, transport, and support them. Let's have a great Sunday, celebrating the wonderful things God is doing in their lives.