Last Sunday I walked into the church building as usual but the rest of the Sunday morning experience was different for me. Yesterday was High School Youth Sunday. Under the direction of Rev. Susan Youmans the youth developed a worship theme, planned the mechanics of the service and provided the talent and leadership for the worship hour. My wife and I chose to sit in the balcony. We have a faithful balcony crew of worshipers who are not use to seeing me in their domain. They reacted; I responded; and it was fun.
The theme was “Something New,” based on Isaiah 65:17. We were warmly and humorously greeted by Robert Paquette. We heard an enthusiastic rendition of “Shine Your Light” by the New Generation Youth Choir. Tommy Moening delivered the morning announcements with precise clarity and enthusiasm. We appreciated the musical talent of Christine Nicholson, flute and James Allbery, violin as they played “Seek Ye First,” an arrangement of Pachelbel’s Canon by Jim Allbery.
Vivacious Julia Lederer presented a Children’s Message. James Allbery led us in our time of prayer. Patrick Paquette read scripture. David Green led us through our time of stewardship. We watched a visual powerpoint presentation created by Christine Nicholson. We heard three personal statements of faith and mission by Kelsey Duntley, Jake Lockledge and Julia Lederer.
The worship service had an energy and a flow that was deeply appreciated by everyone, especially me. What struck me about these high school youth was their poise and their commitment to their faith. We hear all kinds of horror stories about the younger generations, but with these young people all of the possible troubles for the future melted away and was replaced with such words as “hope,” “potential,” “compassion,” and “faithfulness.”
Jake Lockledge delivered the morning benediction: “Yesterday’s the past and tomorrow’s the future. Today is a gift – which is why they call it the present.” It is a quote from Bill Keane, cartoonist and creator of “The Family Circus.”
Today is a gift, a present from God. And so are these Youth. Thank you for your inspiration.