Pastor's Pen September 2013.

By the time you are reading this, I will have returned from Confirmation Camp at Edgewood Camp and Conference Centre. We had many young people attend from our congregation: Confirmands –Sam, Aiden, Lucy, Kyla, Emma, Hunter, Charlotte and Natasha; VETS (young people who have been confirmed and are developing their leadership skills), Brett, Scott and Marisa; and counsellors Madison, Taylor, and Liam. Together we explored the overall theme of Why Church?: under daily topics of Why Christian?, Why Lutheran?, Why Worship? , and Why Me?

With 101 people on site, campers, VETS, counselors and staff from twelve other congregations we encountered our God through meal times, teaching sessions, pastor time, worship and social activities, including, campfires, a talent show, swimming, and crafts. The thoughtfulness and energy our young people bring to the camp is always both meaningful and thrilling for me in that it keeps me young and at the same time it helps me develop my faith, as I see the love of God in each of these individuals. I feel very blessed, and tired, when the week is done.

Our young people at St. Paul’s and in our churches play an important role for all of us when it comes to doing God’s work. We need to remember that we were one of those young people who were a part of the church many years ago. Holy Scripture highlights for us in Matthew, chapter 19, verses 13 – 15, “Then children were brought to him [Jesus] that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people; but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’ And he laid his hands on them and went away.”

Jesus loved children and calls us that by name, children of God. In Luke, chapter 9, verses 46 – 48, we hear, “And an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put them by his side, and said to them, ‘Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.’” What a joy to know that God loves and cares for us as a loving Creator, Saviour, and Comforter.

During the month of September we will start up Sunday School again and gather our young people together, so that they can be taught by our faithful and helpful teachers. I ask that you pray for our staff and students as they learn and experience God’s love for them. September is also a good time to renew our faith in taking time in our personal lives to read the Bible, pray, study, learn, and worship. Being Lutheran enables us to share God’s grace and love and remember that we are saved by grace through faith.

May God continue to watch over us as we live out our faith as children of God.

 Your pastor and friend,