Dear Church Family,
The Lord is risen indeed! As we gathered to celebrate the empty tomb this past Easter Sunday, I was reminded of God’s amazing grace and how truly blessed we are as a church family. With the gifts of our music ministries, Pastor Steve’s sermon, and the meal we shared between services (among many others), I drove home with a full heart. Thank you to all who serve so faithfully and diligently that we may share together in the worship of our Savior!
Though there were many powerful moments during our Holy Week services, I was drawn especially, as I often am, to the Young Disciples led by our Director of Children’s Ministry, Kelly Paynter. As Charley and I prepare to welcome our little one into the church, it is such a blessing to see the children of the church surrounded by a congregation that is committed to brining them up in the knowledge of God’s love for them. As I watch them engage with Kelly and one another, I am reminded of what a gift these kids and their parents are to our congregation. It gives me great joy and hope to know that God continues to call people into his service and invites us to share in that calling.
As we near the end of the school year, a few of our young disciples will be “graduating” into our Youth Ministries. This is an exciting time! They will enter into our WIRED Sunday evening programming where they will eat great food (see below!), play crazy games, and discuss good questions about Jesus and the world we live in. Though they will no longer be joining Kelly for Young Disciples on Sundays, they remain in the care of our congregation. So how can you continue to care for them?
- Pray for an amazing summer full of activities (VBS, River Rafting, WIRED & YIPPY)
- Volunteer to host one of our Sunday night meals
- Support our annual fundraisers (Flower coupons are still available!)
- Engage our youth in Sunday worship
- Encourage and support our amazing families at CongoPres
As we invite new students into WIRED, we will also be sending our graduating seniors from YIPPY. I say “sending” because this is the heart of what we are seeking to accomplish at CongoPres Youth Ministries. Like any other ministry of the church, the goal of our youth ministry is “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13). In other words, we are sending are seniors to be witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in whatever God has planned for them next. Of course, this is a bittersweet moment for us. On one hand, we will miss them dearly. On the other hand, we know that God has amazing things planned for their lives.
Having served youth and their families for the whole of my pastoral experience, I cannot overemphasize how important it is for families to know that they are loved and cared for by the larger congregation. Thank you all for your continued support of this important ministry. If you have any questions about our youth ministry or if God has placed a desire on your heart to serve our families, please contact me. Blessings to you this spring!
In love and hope,
Associate Pastor McLane