As we come to the end of the year, I’d like to thank the many people who have led and served our children and youth this year. There are so many of you.
Firstly, there are the many people who have been involved as leaders or helpers of our crèche, Kidschurch and youth times on a Sunday morning – people who have prepared, been present, loved, taught, modelled and cared; people who have sought to assist our young people to be shaped in the knowledge and love of God. Sunday mornings have been a time of shaping, learning, caring and fun because of you.
Secondly, there are those who have been involved with youth group or girls’/boys’ groups on Friday nights. We’ve had a rich time on these nights and leaders have put in so much to enable our youth to have fun and to grow in their understanding and relationship with Jesus. And we’ve all been served by those who have cooked and those who have offered their house for gatherings. These leaders and cooks also helped facilitate the excellent youth group camp in September.
Thirdly, Cathy Kiernan and Cheryl Potts continued to serve through playgroup until it finished at the end of Term 3. Their consistent presence over many years has seen many young children, their parents, grandparents and nannies loved and supported and experiencing something of the love of Christ.
Fourthly, a range of people have offered their homes for family gatherings, where our young people have continued to grow in relationship and connection with others in the church community. Thanks not only to hosts but those who have been committed to attending and been active in connecting with people of all ages during these gatherings.
Fifthly, parents have taken their role as the people with the primary responsibility of the faith-formation of their children. This has taken place in many ways including as they have pointed their children to Jesus, taught them, prayed for and with them, encouraged them to come to church and youth group, worked alongside the various things we have been doing within the children and youth ministry, and actively lived their own journey of discipleship around their children. As well as this, many people in our church community have prayed and supported our young people, parents and leaders and connected with them in ways that really lived out the extended family/village that we are called to be as God’s people.
Finally, there are many who have ministered to young people beyond our congregation in all sorts of settings, including as a presence at North Cottesloe Primary School, leading on camps, teaching religious education at schools, running kids clubs, forming others for kids and youth ministry, being on the staff or board of organizations that minister to young people in Australia or overseas, and plenty more.
It’s pretty exciting to list these many ways that we as a community have been involved in loving and shaping young people this year (and knowing that there are plenty of things I haven’t mentioned), many things that have helped them know that they belong and that have nurtured them in their journey of faith. As well as the ways we as adults have served our young people, they’ve served us in lots of ways this year and taught us many things as well. I’m convinced that these things are all crucial aspects of them coming into relationship with Jesus and continuing on in that journey.
Thanks so much for your part in this tapestry. I look forward to these things continuing and broadening and deepening in the coming year.