As thoughts permit and as time allows I enjoy having this opportunity during the middle of the week to communicate with all of you through writing. As a self-proclaimed and highly unrecognized writer who doesn’t take the time to write often enough, I appreciate the chance to hone my craft and communicate with all of you at the same time.
This Sunday during our Meeting for Worship I know you will appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the trip Mark and Bev Bauer took to Zambia this summer, as well as the specific words God has laid on Bev’s heart to share with us. As a church family it is altogether appropriate to have an expectation that when one of our own goes on a mission trip, attends a conference, spends time at camp, or is involved in a life transforming project that they share their experience with those who stayed at home upon their return. God can use these experiences to help shape all of us into the image of His Son. As you prepare your hearts and minds for worship this week, come with expectant hearts ready to worship and receive the message that God has for you.
In a little while I am going to meet with our insurance agent to go over our policies as I and others work to update our abuse prevention policy and put it into action. This policy will impact all of us in some way, but is primarily in existence for the protection of our children and youth.
As I have looked through the policy that we are adapting from the one Northwest Yearly Meeting put together as a template and starting point for all Yearly Meeting churches, several thoughts have come to mind, and I would like to share some of them with you as we prepare to implement this updated policy over the next few months.
Unfortunately, because of the world we live in we have to have this type of policy in place. However, I think those things that might seem like an inconvenience to us at first are a small price to pay for the protection of our children and youth. Plus over time these things will just become routine and normal.
I have also thought about how we want to be and are already in many ways a family based church. There are several ideas floating around about how we can assist in community building, help to raise and train each others children, and make sure we remain and challenge ourselves to be inner-generational, but the most impactful thing we can do and be is intentional in our efforts of connecting with each other and showing each other love and respect, especially with new people, children, and youth.
On Sunday mornings our desire is that our time of worship will be an opportunity for all ages to come together and connect with each other and with God. For those of us who are parents I want to encourage us in the reality that the best way we can teach our children about worship is by making sure they are participating in worship right alongside of us. We also need to be aware of children who come without their parents so that we can offer guidance and instruction to them as well, even if it is as simple as sitting by them or offering for them to sit by one of us. (Some of our protection guidelines will have to do with children needing to be in designated specific locations when an activity is going on. For example on Sunday mornings during worship the expectation would be for children and youth to be in the Multi-Purpose Sanctuary or for children up to age 8 either in the nursery of Children’s Church.)
More information about the abuse prevention policy will be provided for you in the weeks and months ahead as we update it and implement it. Every so often I will mention the abuse prevention policy by writing or speaking about it in order to remind us of the upcoming transition.
Thank you for reading and being an active part of our church family. I enjoy serving you all as your pastor.