by Dr. Mitsi Willard
“Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.”
(#46, Book of Common Prayer)
Heavenly Rest is alive with the laughter, energy, and noise of young people. In the past few years, our Parish has seen remarkable growth in the number of families with children who have become part of our community. From babes-in-arms, to insightful teenagers, our Parish family is expanding. We have recently established a discernment committee to ensure that CHR continues to be a place where children, youth, and families can grow in faith.
In February, the Children & Youth Discernment Committee (which needs a catchier name) began meeting. The members of the committee span several generations, including lifelong members of CHR, as well as those who have joined our community more recently. Collectively, we are parents to some 30 children, infants to adults. In our first meeting, we shared what brought us to Heavenly Rest, as well as memories of our most formative spiritual experiences as young people.
As a committee, our goals are to consider where the church has been, where it is currently, and what our vision is for the future of ministries for children and youth. Children are not only the future of the church, they are the present. We want to take care of the gifts that God has given us with the presence of young people in our community, and make sure we are fulfilling our baptismal covenant to “do all in our power to support these persons in their life in Christ.”