“God’s dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.” Desmond Tutu
The children and youth of UCW led us in celebration of this dream of God, on Children’s Sunday, June 9.
As Lucy Gund proclaimed in opening the service,
“Church is a place where kids and adults grow closer to God and to each other. We do it together. So today we celebrate our connections to each other and to God. We also want to celebrate our connections to Christians everywhere, especially in Africa. Today we will be blessing our members who are travelling to Zambia this summer on behalf of our church. And we will bless the money and supplies that we have all donated for this group to take with them. So our service will be filled with African songs, stories and style.”
All the children processed into worship, keeping beat on drums to the West African song “Fanga Allafia” which means “welcome and peace to you.” The 4th-5th graders presented a skit of the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian, showing us that God works through us in amazing ways and how the Christian faith began to
spread around the world from its very inception. Later in the service, as the fifth graders were honored for moving up to Youth Group, they were challenged to think that God might call them, just as Phillip was, to travel unexpected roads on their faith journeys during middle school. The 2nd-3rd graders led the “Time for Grown-ups” and taught us a game brought back to us by our previous delegation to Zambia. The children used the game, which involved imitating a leader, to have us think about how we might follow Jesus. The middle schoolers followed up on that message for grown-ups by presenting a dramatic reading of Matthew 25:35-40, and then leading us in discussion of how we have seen God in the ‘least of the
se’ and served God at those times. Ian Wittler’s photo montage illustrated how God has been at work in our Sunday School this past year. Our younger Sunday School members led prayers, handed out flowers to visitors and took the offering. All the children and youth participated in this spirit-filled worship!