Welcome Them In God’s Name

Dear Friends of Kenilworth Union Church,

This weekend, we recognize the High School Class of 2016 in worship. They will preach and lead worship. They will serve as greeters and ushers. They will sing praise to God. For this is their church. Some were baptized as infants at the font just a few feet from the pulpit where they will stand on Youth Sunday. Some attended the church’s A Joyful Noise Preschool. Some went to Sunday School. Some certainly loved youth groups and choir, taught Sunday School and served on mission trips. Over the years, they showed up. They lived into their identity as a child of God. Now, this weekend, we, the church, will send them off to adulthood with a blessing.

But, after this blessing, don’t think you’re off the hook, Kenilworth Union Church. After this weekend, we still have a job to do: we remain part of their beloved community, part of their network of love.

Welcome them.

Embrace them when they return to Kenilworth Union Church for the high holy days of Christmas and Easter. Greet them when they serve as college leaders on summer high school mission trips. Delight with them when they return to the church for the wedding of a sibling or friend, and when they gather for the baptism of a nephew or niece. Stand alongside them in sorrow when they return for the funeral of a godparent or, God-forbid, a friend. Celebrate when they return for their own weddings, and when they emerge for the baptism of their own babies that they lovingly present to God in our midst.

Welcome them in God’s name.
Katie Snipes Lancaster