By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
Twenty five years ago in 1994, Boyz II Men, Celine Dion, and Mariah Carey were topping billboard charts; Forrest Gump, The Lion King, and Shawshank Redemption were hitting the box office; Seinfeld, ER, and Home Improvement were on our TVs; Bill Clinton was president and Pope John Paul II was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. There was no Facebook, Instagram, or Google. There was no Uber, Netflix, or Instacart. It was a different time.
Much has changed since 1994 and yet, at Kenilworth Union Church, the weekly rhythm of children arriving joyfully for preschool is the same. In 1994 a few dozen families in conjunction with church leadership and Children’s Ministry decided that it was time for the Mom’s Day Out program to move forward toward becoming an actual preschool. It was named A Joyful Noise Preschool. We know you know this. We know you love this school that has been home to so many children and families over the twenty-five-year history.
This Sunday we will celebrate the preschool’s 25th year anniversary with a special Anniversary Chapel at 2 p.m. with a reception to follow. All are welcome. We hope you will bring along alumni, the oldest of whom are now turning 29 and 30! We want alumni and families of all ages to come sing “Jesus Loves Me” and “Deep and Wide” with gusto and to reunite with classmates from those early days when friendships formed around sandboxes and crayons.
I’ve been witnessing the power of preschool for many years now. Whether it’s seniors in high school who are about to go off to college talking about how amazing it is that their best friend is someone they met here at A Joyful Noise Preschool, or if it’s this year’s class of kindergartners who are surviving life in elementary because their AJN Preschool friends are right there with them, there are so many ways in which the kindness, love, and generosity of this school spills over into the community in ways seen and unseen. God’s seen and unseen love is right at the heart of it, and we hope you will join us as we pray our chapel prayer together: “We know our God is here, because God’s everywhere.”
All are welcome this Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m. in the Sanctuary. See you there!