Tending and Attending

This coming Sunday is our second annual (?!?) Youth-led worship service, where not only will our young people be leading us in the various worship-leading roles, but three of them will also offer sermon meditations as the message for the day. This is our second year organizing this service, and it began last year when the young people expressed the idea and energy to make it happen. I appreciate all those who help tend these kinds of ideas and energy and turn them into meaningful opportunities for getting our young people involved.

Fittingly enough, this comes right on the heels of another annual service: last Sunday’s Keeping CMC Safe themed service where we recommitted to the good work of making Columbus Mennonite a safe community that does all it can to minimize the potential for abuse, especially against the most vulnerable among us.  For those that attended the service, this counted as your annual training if you signed the insert in the bulletin. 

If you missed the service, you can still participate in the training by going HERE. We believe so strongly in this work that it is our hope that everyone in the congregation receives this annual training about the importance of abuse prevention. You will likely be hearing from Mim in the coming weeks if you have yet to complete the training.  

At the bottom of the training form is one final question: “In the coming years, do you intend to work with children?” If you answer affirmatively, you will be asked to complete an additional short application. We have had some conversations around the office about that word “intend.” Many of you probably already know you “intend” to work with children because you regularly volunteer in the nursery or Preschool areas. Many more of you probably know you will “intend” to help with Sunday School in some capacity. 

I keep raising conversation about the word “intend” because I think it closes off opportunities for people who may be interested in working with children but don’t have any specific intention at this time. I also keep raising these questions because–somewhat selfishly–as one of the people who regularly seeks out volunteers for children’s programming it’s helpful to have a robust list of people who are available to ask, especially if we need a last-minute substitute. 

All of this to say that I hope you will consider answering that you do intend to work with children, even if you’re not sure what that might look like. I don’t know if the wording of that questions will ever change, but here are a few of my working suggestions:

  • Are you interested in working with and growing alongside children at CMC?
  • Do you wish to have the privilege of helping nurture the spiritual lives of CMC’s children?
  • Are you hoping to experience firsthand the grace that children offer our congregation?

Our young people have a lot to offer our congregation, as this coming Sunday’s service will so clearly show us once again. I hope you will join me in whatever way you can in supporting their presence and participation among us.  -Mark Rupp