I’ve been thinking about “life’s passages” lately. I suppose these thoughts were triggered by the fact that just last week we celebrated our grandson’s seventh birthday. When I became the pastor at St. Paul’s seven years ago, Pam and I had no grandchildren. Now we have five!
Looking at some picture albums lately, I watched our own two children grow up: first day of school, first day of high school, first day of college. Then there were the birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and other special occasions. Now we are in the process again as grandparents. And what a joy it is.
Life passages are also very much a part of the journey of faith and life in the church. Beginning with baptism and continuing through the funeral liturgy, the Christian is on a constant journey, passing from one significant life-event to another on the walk of faith. This time of year highlights three of those life passages.
On April 27, we witnessed 11 young people receive their First Holy Communion. What a special moment it was for me to see them receive the body and blood of Jesus with huge smiles on their faces!
As I write this month’s message, I am acutely aware of life’s passages as I prepare to commend two saints from this congregation to Almighty God in funeral liturgies.
On June 8, we will celebrate another life passage as nine of our young people will affirm the vows their parents made for them at their baptisms in the Rite of Confirmation (Affirmation of Baptism). We have studied together for two years, and, as I look over the list of the Class of 2014, I am convinced that the future of the church is assured. These nine will make a powerful witness as they go through the passage and assume adult responsibilities in the life of this congregation.
I am sure they join me in saluting and saying thanks to my co-teachers in the confirmation program: Carolyn Ashburn, Michael Ashburn, Amanda Vickrey, Andrew Vickrey, Kevin Maurer, and Jim Schneider. What dedicated partners and teachers they are!
Pastor Skip McDowell