What does faith have to say about life's final stage? About parenting? About being a young adult? How does faith help us deal with knowing we are drawing close to life's end? What is the role of a parent (or grandparent) in passing on faith to a child? What are the joys and challenges of faith for young adults?
The past Sundays we have been asking these questions in a series of sermons and stories.
Below is the story told by David McCoy.
This morning I would like to talk a couple of minutes about some of my heroes of our church.
Curtis Barman – “Mr. Curt” who has been taking care of our 4 year old for 20 years
Steve Lin and David Britt – Steve and Dave are the ones who started Children’s church more than 25 years ago. From that beginning, we started specific children’s ministries which led Broadway to hire its first Minister to Children
Laura Edwards – Laura moved out of town many years ago, but Laura brought her guitar every Sunday for 6 or 7 years to teach our children songs about church and the Bible
Sharon Lin – Sharon taught the baby / toddler Sunday School classes for years and years, usually bringing her own supplies for the babies.
Janet Hennessey – Janet was a long time member of the Children’s Committee and a long time Sunday School teacher to children. Janet made it a point to be here every Sunday night to watch “Touched by an Angel” with our children, primarily Middle Schoolers at the time.
Brad Thomas, George Coleman and Kendrick Wells IV – Brad, George and Kendrick volunteered to coach basketball to our kids for years and years.
Charlie Taylor – Our ‘Candy Man” who for nearly 20 years met all the children as they came into church and gave them a piece of candy and told them “Thank you for coming to Sunday School.”
There are many many more who deserve to be mentioned.
What these people all have in common is that they knew every one of the children in our church by name… AND they taught my children that God knew THEM by name, too! God loved THEM. God loved them individually and specifically.
We think of childhood as being idyllic but things aren’t always easy for kids. When my first wife and I were getting divorced, Ginny begged to still be allowed to sing in the choir. William more than anything wanted to be in the Christmas pageant and later wanted to be able to play basketball. Jason just mainly wanted to believe that someone still loved him and also that the divorce was not his fault.
They were afraid. I was afraid!
They were afraid they were going to lose their parents. They were afraid they were going to lose their friends. They were afraid they were going to lose their family. They were afraid they were going to lose their home, their schools. They were afraid they were going to lose their church.
In the midst of that storm, they needed to know that God knew THEM by name and loved THEM. They needed to know that God not only rejoiced with them when times were joyous. He also grieved with them when their world was turned upside down.
It’s amazing how simple it really is. In good times or bad, every child in this church, from age 0 to 99, needs to know that. Red and yellow, black and white, we’re all precious in his sight.
When we are at our best, that’s what church does for children.