Full St. Nick's News for June 22, 2022 Dear Friends, I am wondering today, what…
I hope and pray your summer is off to a beautiful start!
My heart was full of joy and love after our Pentecost worship and celebration this past Sunday. I will confess – I love, love, love Sundays! I love being with y’all and I love worshiping God together. Second to our time together, I love, love, love anytime we can create art together! And so this past Sunday was like a little slice of heaven for me.
I also hope and pray that our children and youth felt (and always feel) absolutely cherished, loved, and adored! Hearing the heartwrenching and heartbreaking news coming out of Uvalde has only solidified my resolve for us to be a place where children and youth know they are loved beyond measure. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children. It is right and fitting for us to be a place where children and youth feel and come to know the immeasureable love of God in Jesus Christ.
Quite often, I am asked the questions – what can I do? How can I help here at St. Nick’s? There are many answers to that question based on interests and talents. But there is also a universal answer for everyone… Come. Show up. Invest in one another. And especailly right now – empower and love our children and youth.
Come and join in our multi-generational JOY camp in a few weeks. Help out a parent on Sunday when they are juggling multiple children and snacks and drinks. Get to know the names of our children and youth and pray for them and their parents daily. You can also ask them and teach them to pray for you too. Praise them when you see them sharing or doing something loving and celebrate their gifts and talents.
There is something special about growing up in a church, a community of faithful followers of Jesus. We are a community with diverse life experiences, world views, and talents. Our children and youth will be blessed by God’s love as you share it with them. They will also be blessed as they are encouraged to share God’s love to others inside and outside of the church.
I believe we are called to lift up and empower our children and youth with as much love, grace, forgiveness and joy as we can muster and share! Maybe you, like me, remember having nuclear “Duck and Cover Drills” as a youngster. Remember the anxiety and worry they would cause either yourself or your friends? Imagine the the anxiety our children face with their Active Shooter Drills. Imagine the worry and anxiety their parents face as well. Imagine the worry an anxiety teachers and school administrators face also.
I believe that we are called to many things – prayer, action, and love. Today, I am focusing on the love portion of our call. I am asking you to join me in pouring ourselves out in love for our children and youth. In Luke 18:15-17, Jesus blesses the children. “People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them, and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
For most of this note, I have talked about how our children and youth will be blessed. But you and I know, that when we share our life and love with others, we too are blessed. Childern and youth remind us how to be playful and full of joy. They teach us to be open to new experiences and ideas. They compel us to laugh. And all of these things – playfulness, joy, new experiences, new ideas, and laughter are all blessings in our lives.
How can you help? Come to JOY camp. Come and be a friend to our parents, our teaches, and our children and youth. Contact me if you want to be an involved member of our children and youth ministry team. And last but never least, pray. Pray for our ministries to children and youth. Pray for our children and youth. Pray for our parents and teachers. Pray for God to show you a way to use your gifts and talents to bless the life of a little one who needs to be loved and cherished.
God’s Peace, Love, and Blessings,