This past weekend, our Junior Youth Group experienced their first overnight at the church. While they each came with their own apprehensions, I found that they quickly overcame any concern. Staying overnight at the church is scary, there are strange noises and dark spaces. Despite my own fears working at the church late at night, I have found comfort in the sanctuary and feel a great sense of solace while working in the sun room late at night. This is not about the building, the building is merely a symbol of what takes place and who is held in community in the space. The building is not home to the kids, their church community is home in their hearts. It is that sense of home that made their Lock In that much more sacred.
As the youth spent the evening hosting little kids for a few hours of fun, baking cookies for older Pilgrims, and playing hide and seek throughout the church, I realized that they truly enjoy a sense of belonging. They are active in leading worship as liturgists and engaging in the life of the church in many ways. It was not as though this weekend was the beginning but rather a middle. I am grateful that our young ones have a place in this church community. I deeply appreciate that each person in this congregation has connected with our young ones. They are blessed to be a blessing in their church community as are all of you!