As Presbyterians who value things being done “decently and in order” we aren’t very adept at celebration. We don’t hoot and holler. We don’t normally raise our hands and clap in church. We have even been labeled “the frozen chosen” at times – referring to our theology of predestination and our cold and impersonal worship style. (I prefer to call us “cool” not frozen.) But we could do better at celebrating in church. Now, don’t get all panicked! I’m not going to make you raise your hands and clap in church, (unless you want to). But I am going to encourage us to celebrate the amazing things God is doing in our lives, in our church, and in our community.
This month, we have a lot to celebrate!
May 14 is Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day can be a difficult day for people for many reasons: women who are unable to have biological children, people grieving mothers who are gone, families who have lost a child… Those voids are impossible to fill. And even in the midst of sadness, God is present and gives us opportunity to celebrate the incredible gift of women in the church. Let’s take the opportunity this Mother’s Day to celebrate the contribution of “spiritual mothers” in our lives and in our church. Growing up far from our grandparents was difficult at times, but we had many “church” grandmothers and grandfathers who shared in our lives every week. The church was truly a “family of God” for us. (If you would like to know more about my journey to motherhood through adoption, miscarriage and a difficult pregnancy, just ask.)
May 21 we celebrate God’s work in and through our children! “God’s Overflowing Love” is the theme for our Youth Celebration Sunday. We will hear from our young people, confirm new members, celebrate the sacrament of Baptism, and “quilt” our High School Seniors. Come hear the Sunday School report from our kids and all that God has been growing in them this year.
May 28 we celebrate and honor our loved ones over Memorial Day weekend. We will have an infant baptism that day as well which is truly something beautiful to celebrate! When we baptize our children we recognize that they are a gift from God to us. We dedicate those children back to God’s care and celebrate that the child is embraced and welcomed into the larger family of God. As Presbyterians we understand baptism to be more about God’s work in our lives and embracing us into God’s family and less about what we believe. We participate in infant baptism as well as adult and youth baptism. We honor and recognize our sister-churches’ baptism. We don’t believe you need to be re-baptized, once is enough. Come celebrate the growing of God’s family through baptism!
Come and celebrate the work of God in our lives, in our children, and in our church!