I am often asked, “How can we better support youth and young families?” Well, let’s ask them. Before reading my Christmas message below, please read a statement from our youngest vestry member, Kirby Marion, and watch a one-minute video by Lara Pierpoint, also a vestry member and a parent of a young family.
A Message from Kirby Marion
The final part of our mission statement states that we are to manifest God’s love through action. As a community we have always been proud of our actions - from feeding the hungry, clothing the weary, and providing transportation for the youth of the area. While St. John’s has been very actionable in the past, the current social climate calls us to take more action than we ever have before. It is time for us to step up within Genesis, (a network of congregations and community organizations co-founded by St. John’s to create equity in our communities). With your support, we are going to make waves of positive change flow through our home and radiate through the nation. With your support, we can provide aid to people suffering, while simultaneously working to dismantle the structures that cause suffering in the first place. With your support, a renewed Genesis and a renewed St. John’s will be a beacon for the beloved community.
A Video Message from Lara Pierpoint
Watch a video message from Lara Pierpoint.
From its beginning, the Church has struggled to include and honor children and young people. The Church's very first celebration of Christmas was on December 25, 336. Yes, that’s correct. The Church did not originally prioritize even the stories of Jesus' birth. The disciples themselves sent children away when they approached Jesus, yet Jesus countered their resistance by teaching them that they must become as a child to enter God's kingdom.
Even though the resistance to hearing the voices of young people is evidenced in Church history, we can bring change by listening to and responding to the challenge of our younger members. This year's special Christmas offering will go to support opportunities for them to go into the community and make a difference.
As we approach the child Jesus, may our thoughts turn toward the children and youth in our congregation and the world.
On behalf of the Vestry and Staff I wish you a Merry Christmas!
The Rev. Scott Denman