REV. KATE MAY email@example.com
In the book "Dream Big" by Bob Goff Bob shares a cultural learning moment he had in Uganda. He was waving goodbye to some children he had just been playing with and they began running behind the jeep he was leaving in. As he continued waving, more and more children began running behind the Jeep. Finally, the driver explained that in Uganda, when you wave at someone it does not mean hello or goodbye it means, “Follow me!”
As I reflect on the goodness of the renovation work done recently at Centenary, that story has stuck with me. We are so excited to begin welcoming children and families back into this awesomely renovated space and we wave them in enthusiastically, as they have begun to come for nursery, family worship, Vacation Bible School, the Backpack Blessing & Open House and Sunday School! It is a tremendous joy to be able to be together in person even if it is still not what it was before. I pray daily for a safe and effective COVID vaccine for our children! However, as much as we love to welcome them into this amazing building which facilitates their Christian formation in innumerable ways, truly the most important thing we can do is send them back into the world to love God and show kindness to all people! We send them out to follow Jesus!
Recently in Sunday School, I told the kids that they don’t get homework from church. But then I heard my words again inside my head and I quickly corrected myself. I told them that everything we learn and do at church is homework. The things we learn and do shouldn’t stay inside the walls of the church, instead it should transform us so that we become closer to the person God created us to be. It’s not enough to learn the parts of the armor of God, instead what really matters is knowing that the things that the armor of God represents are the things God gives us to be strong when hard times come. This is why we give the kids a weekly kindness challenge. It is a concrete way for them each week to take what they have learned at church and put it into action in their lives. This is why we tell them over and over again that, “God loves you and so do I.” When we know we are loved it is way more easy to act loveable and to love other people.
So as much as it has made my heart sing when I have heard kids complaining to their parents, “But I don’t want to leave!” after playing in our new play place or after going down the slip and slide in the front yard for the millionth time, we cannot simply come to church and revel in the goodness we find there. We must allow the goodness to fill us up and propel us out whether we are 6 years old, 36 years old, or 86 years old!
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I
Learn more about Centenary by visiting our website at: www.centenary-ws.org