Youth Sunday Senior Sermon
Good Morning everyone, my name is Jamey Minturn.
Seventeen years ago, I was here. My experience at Kenilworth Union Church began when I was baptized right over there. Several years later, I ran around the playground out back as a preschooler. These experiences at Church are still foggy but they were nonetheless of great importance. From a young age I was blessed to have such a great place where I could start my faith, learn, and have fun. As I continued with Sunday school, I found out more and loved Youth Group, and on Sundays I loved hearing the sermons of Doctor Bowen, some of which I carry with me to this day. Church began to take on a bit of a different role for me. I began to see how I could take my faith, and apply it to the real world. Attending fundraisers, serving at soup kitchens, packaging meals or writing letters to church members who were away at college – I found a passion for service through my faith. After being confirmed, I felt a large sense of accomplishment not just by looking back at all of the Bible songs and Psalms I had memorized the last eight years, but feeling a larger sense of accomplishment for being a part of such an amazing church. In high school, thanks to my sister Em, I joined IMPACT. Going on mission trips to Panama and the Bahamas was one of the highlights of high school. I still remember the faces of the people we helped, and the kids we played and read with. I will never forget the week itself, but I will also never forget working with all of my fellow IMPACT members. Working side by side, sharing stories in devos, I connected with others that I never would have before. I am excited for our next mission trip in June to Guatemala!
I cannot say enough about the people in our Church community here at Kenilworth Union. I have been overwhelmed with support in sporting events, college decisions and numerous other things. To highlight one, I want to say thank you to my confirmation mentor Chris Joseph. Going into our projects and conversations, I expected to be talking about my own faith, and what it means to be confirmed. Sharing your own experiences with me, I was able to learn more about you and to this day I still go to you for advice. You posted a stellar attendance to home and away New Trier soccer games this fall, and I remember pointing to you after scoring a goal at one point. I am so grateful for you and all you have done for me. In a broader respect, I am so grateful to be a part of a church community that is filled with people like Chris Joseph. In addition, there are two people who I don’t thank enough for all that they do for me. First, I’d like to point out my father Corey, or “Studmuffin” as he calls himself. You and mom brought me here 17 years ago, and made sure that Church began to play a role in my life, and it truly did. You have taught me how to be a gentleman, and your advice is some of the best in the world. Thank you for always being my number one fan, but more so for keeping me in line, and always pointing me in the right direction. Next, my mom Katie. She does everything but so much of it goes unnoticed. From day one, you have made the best peanut butter and jelly’s, I swear. Thank you for always being there for the bad times, but also living the good ones to the fullest. You have epitomized putting others before yourself, and have taught me how to be compassionate. I don’t know what I will do without you two next year, and I will be eternally grateful for all that you have given and taught me. Without you, I would not be standing here, in Kenilworth Union Church today. Just as Church has done, you have taught me the importance of family.
For the last 18 years, Church has been a commitment, but even more a blessing. I would never trade a second of everything I have done at or with this church away. This church community has taught me so much, but as I said before, made me want to use what I’ve learned and pursue service. To all of you younger kids here today, take it all in. Take advantage of the amazing people and opportunities that Kenilworth Union offers, because you will never regret it. Go to youth group and IMPACT, and explore. You will meet amazing people and learn incredible things, but you will learn even more about yourself. As I leave for college in the fall, I know it’s not a goodbye, and that it is a “see you later”, because I will always be welcomed by my Kenilworth Union community, just as I have and will continue to welcome it.