Delievered on Sunday, March 10. And, to K’s annoyance, there was no song and dance during it. Maybe next time.
What you see up here is a well…it’s a different sort of Trinity than you normally see. I’m Marc, Vicar at Advent and Director of Children, Youth, and Family ministries and next to me stands the other two members of our team – Josh who you’ve seen leading our children and youth music programs – and the newest member of our team, Kevin, who will head our middle school and high school ministries.
First, we want to thank you for your vision and dedication that makes CYF ministries possible. The decision to fund, support, and expand the CYF team came from all of you – the entire congregation – from the newest infant to the great-great grandmother – all of you have put a stake in being very intentional and deliberate when it comes to ministering to the children, youth, and families that are sitting in the pews today – and everyone out there, beyond our doors, in New York City.
The three of us standing up here – we’re the stewards of Advent’ collective ministry – a ministry that focuses on what it means to a be a child of God as a baby, infant, adolescent, teenager, or parent – and what it means to live our out Christian and Lutheran Christian identity – and what it means to be active, faithful disciples of Jesus Christ on the Upper West Side.
One thing I’ve learned, being a new parent, is that every time I’ve settled into a routine – something changes. The only routine is change – sure, some changes are wonderful – but it’s, well, is’t pretty chaotic. But even in the chaos – that doesn’t mean Christ isn’t there. Because, as Lent shows us, God isn’t in the habit of living only in our routines. God’s in the mix – in the mess – in the wild and strange that makes up our lives and experiences. And God’s is in the lives of the children, the youth, and their parents too. God’s with us – through the whole wild thing that is “growing up.” And that’s where we are too.
The three of us bring to this ministry enthusiasm, energy, dedication, and a willingess to experiment – to see what works – to listen to what our children, youth, and families need to engage in active discipleship so that we wall may live out God’s love and be little Christ’s to everyone we meet. The children, youth, and families in Advent make us the dynamic, inviting, welcoming place that we are.
So keep an eye out for all the new events and programming that will be coming up! Like our Easter Egg fundraiser – only $5 dollars for half-a-dozen painted eggs – order forms in the back! – and our annual Youth-led Easter Breakfast, to our new middle school and high school social nights, a monthly gathering for families with children under the age of two, an expanded outreach mission, and more opportunities for families to gather together – share their experiences – and get support when they need it. And for all our youth – no matter their ages – look for a chance to have fun, be safe, and see what living an active, dynamic, complex, and not-always-perfect Christian faith is all about.