I was in the church the other day when the sunlight was streaming through the stained glass of the baptistry, pouring a medley of colors across the font. As I gazed at the beauty of it, I thought of all the children I have watched being christened there and then I thought of the words that we all say collectively in response to the question, “Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support this person in their life in Christ?” Our answer? “We will!” How can we carry out that vow? Are we living up to it?
I am asking everyone who can to remain after the 1030 service for a short while on Sunday to discuss Christian Education and Formation. Not just for the children, but for us adults as well. We stop learning when we are dead and maybe not even then! Get a cup of coffee and a tidbit, then return to the church, parents of children 3 to 18 sit in the back and meet with me and Michael Sizemore. Everyone else, go to the front and meet with Candace DiLello. If you attend either the 8:00 or 5:30 service I will try to meet with you over the next few weeks for a similar discussion.
As members of the congregation, what can we do to support the Christian formation of our children? What do we want for adults? Let’s try to think outside the proverbial box. What worked in the past may not be the answer today. Admittedly, not all of us are called to be teachers, as James makes quite clear in today’s epistle, but there are many ways to help. All of us are called to explore our faith and to be challenged.
Traditionally we held classes with teachers before or after the service. That might still work for some, but an alternative might be family groups meeting and doing activities together. Or maybe we need to think about Wednesday after school or in the evening. Wednesday is a standard night for Christian activities for all ages in many denominations.
Your vestry and discipleship commission are anxious to do what they can to support parents in their efforts to teach their children a Christian way of living. We are also anxious to help meet the yearnings of adults who seek to deepen their understanding of the faith. Please come and tell us how we can do that. See you on Sunday.
Claudia Ward, Senior Warden
All Saints’ Episcopal Church