“You have to sniff out joy. Keep your nose to the joy trail.” – Buffy Saint Marie
It is hard to believe, but we are wrapping up one year of church together. I am no longer your new minister and you are no longer my new congregation. We are who we have become, together. In June we stop, take stock, and notice the impact of the journey.
I particularly think of the importance of these last three weeks before we enter summer mode.
This Sunday, Religious Education Sunday, and the next Sunday, Senior Youth Group Sunday, we gather all together ( in one service!!) to admire our children and youth, being astonished by how much they have grown, how poised they have become, and how deeply we love them and wish them well.
We gather in sacred solidarity with them and with their families, acknowledging that together we are the village raising these children and supporting their families. Children who were barely toddlers in September will have become children with shared experiences that have bonded them to one another, and to this, their church.
The following Sunday, we will be bridging three of our young people who are graduating from high school into young adulthood — Elliot Dumais, Finn Dierks-Brown, and Jessie Horn — three young people who have been deeply shaped by A2U2, its values, its people, and its encouragement of and confidence in them. They are profoundly thoughtful and emerge across the bridge from childhood to young adulthood with much insight and beautifully inquiring minds and hearts. We have reason to be proud of them.
We will also be welcoming in our new, youngest member, Ben Wilson, who has achieved the minimum age for membership (15), gone through our Coming of Age program, our Religious Education program, and who has decided that he wants to claim this faith and this faith community, A2U2 as his own.
On June 16 we practice our Flower Communion. Each of us is asked to bring a flower to contribute to our common bouquet, reminding us of the gifts we have brought and shared. At the conclusion of the service each of us is invited to take a flower contributed by another, reminding us of all we have received from our time together, and how tenderly we gather the richness, taking it home to nourish and sustain.
We have done much, tried much, learned much, grown much, laughed much this year together. Let us use this time when we are together in one single service at 10:00 to really see one another’s faces and be glad.