At the end of May the youth who attended Christian Citizenship Seminar led us in worship. At the end of the service, Pastor Janet did a blessing of our high school Seniors. It was an amazing Sunday. I was so overwhelmed with the integrity and faithfulness of our youth.
Our youth have busy lives. They are involved in sports, music, and drama. Academic requirements have gone up. Our youth have active social lives. Some of them spend every other weekend with a parent that isn’t part of this congregation. We see them when they are here, and they are not always here. So to have such a large group of our youth up front on a Sunday, telling us about how they have been impacted by the ministries of this church and our denomination, was a beautiful experience. I was deeply moved.
Someone once said about our church that our tagline should read: La Verne Church of the Brethren….we raise quality young adults. The youth of this church head out into the world to make a difference. They do that in their occupations, and they do it with the way they live on the earth. Through Sunday School, workcamp, summer camp, Peace Camp, denominational gatherings, Dunker Punks, service projects, and more, they learn what it means to be part of the Jesus way. They learn about their brothers and sisters around the globe. They learn about how to love this planet. They learn how to be community. They learn the importance of loving and including everyone.
First, I want to say, “Good job, church.” The time, attention, money, and resources we put towards these ministries to our youth and children are vital. Any time or money we invest in our young people is well spent.
But I also want to say, “This work requires all of us.” We can’t farm out or hire others to pass on our message of faithfulness, peace, inclusion, and love. Our children and youth need you to notice them and to practice your faith in front of them. They need you to offer your time, talent, and money to allow them to blossom into the incredible people that they are.
Ask yourself this question: “How can I participate in the all important children and youth ministries of this church?” Maybe you could volunteer at Peace Camp or Camp La Verne. Maybe you could throw a few extra dollars at one of their fundraising efforts. Maybe you could sit down next to them in worship and sing hymns with them. Maybe you could stop on the courtyard after worship and ask them to share from their lives. Maybe you could drop a note to them and affirm what you see in them. Maybe you could offer to chaperone an activity or teach a Sunday School class.
We need you for this all important work!