One of St. John’s mutual ministry goals for this year is children & families.  

This is actually a repeat of last year’s goals. However, I think it deserves to retain this status, particularly as we begin to see some of the fruits of the work of this past year and beyond.  

One of the reasons I fell in love with Jesus, and love and follow him still, is his love for children. It is so clear to me from the stories we have in the gospels how much Jesus valued them. But not only that, he centred children in the community, holding them up as examples for us adults of what it means to be citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven – our teachers.  

What will this goal look like this year at St. John’s? It might look like programs: the continuation of things we are already doing, like Tot Time, or perhaps the starting of something new, like a Sunday school or something else entirely.  

However, this goal, for me, is deeper than any program. It is fundamentally about culture. The culture of St. John’s.  And culture is formed by the culmination of all that we say and do, big and small. My hope and prayer is that our church culture and attitude might continue to reflect more and more the example that Jesus gave us. I hope and pray that St. John’s may continue to become a place, a community, where children and their families are centred and valued, not just tolerated but celebrated.  

It can be really difficult for parents to bring their child(ren) to church. I am in awe and full of gratitude for all of you who do so. For the rest of us, I would suggest that it is our job to reassure, encourage and help these beloved members of our community whenever we can to feel at home, to feel like they belong.   

I believe that the Church, at its best, is an intergenerational community; the old blessing the young, and the young the old.  

This mutual blessing and being blessed is, I hope, what we are being called into and what we will experience, by the grace of God, through this goal this year.  

Thanks be to God!