I walked up to the Celebration Sunday picnic with pasta salad in one hand, and a toddler in the other. Someone walked right up to take the pasta from my hand and said, “Let me help you.” I celebrate the help and love my church family gives us.

I celebrate that kids run up to my daughter to say hello and give hugs.

I celebrate that are adults in her life that love her who aren’t legally required to.

I celebrate that for all of our church kids, there are adults in their lives who love them who aren’t legally required to.

I celebrate that I needed help with a PowerPoint presentation for the Summer reports, and Buddy Sumner not only made it, but did an outstanding job.

I celebrate that Scott Leake volunteered to be a chaperone for Unidiversity and said, “I remember a retired man being there for me when I was a teenager at music camp at Eagle Eyrie, and I want to do that for our kids.”

I celebrate that when a youth was done speaking about his Maine experience, the first person I saw stand up for him was an older adult who had worked alongside him during mission tour.

I celebrate the fact that older adults who had not been involved in any of the summer activities stuck around to hear about them because they love our children and youth and wanted to hear about their summer adventures.

Because that is what church is. Church is loving people in a different family, in a different generation, with different perspectives than you. It is remembering that the family of God is big, and that to truly love God, we must love others and love ourselves, and this means we show up for the children and youth in our church because we said we would when they were dedicated as sweet little babies. From the litany we say at Parent/Child/Church Dedications: We promise to pray for, to uphold, to encourage, and to teach these children how to continue to grow in God’s grace and love.

Now those sweet little babies are curious toddlers, energetic elementary schoolers, questioning middle schoolers, and independent high schoolers. We promised that we would support them and encourage them in their faith, and that means showing up.

I celebrate all of the adults who participated in PASSPORTkids!, PASSPORT Youth, the Hands & Hearts Family Mission Trip, VBS, Undiversity, and the Maine Mission Tour.

I celebrate all of our Sunday School teachers who show up every week for our children and youth. I am so grateful for the work and love they give.

I celebrate the leaders on Wednesday night who come because they love to teach, and they love our children.

I celebrate when gifts and talents are shared not out of obligation or guilt, but out of love.

I celebrate all of these gifts of time, energy, and love given to all our children and youth.

Celebration Sunday was a great reminder of how special our church family is. Thank you for giving me a reason to celebrate!

What did you celebrate on Celebration Sunday?

Written by Kim Crowley

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