In the weeks ahead St. Luke’s will welcome four children to the waters of Baptism. There are three major parts to baptism – Washing of the Water, Blessing of the Holy Spirit, and Welcome into the Family of God. The parents, sponsors, and congregation all make a commitment to help this child grow in faith. We need to remember that those gathered in worship today are speaking on behalf of the whole Church and our promise to that child, is really a promise to all children. We live out our commitment to that child by welcoming all children as Jesus instructed…
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” – Mark 9:37
And calling to him a child, Jesus put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. – Matthew 18:2-6
And they were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. – Mark 10:13-16/Luke 18:15-17
Even before baptism I am proud that St. Luke’s welcomes children into worship. At a recent funeral a guest was excited to have her child participate in the Children’s Prayground. She told me it was the first time her daughter enjoyed an entire worship without fussing. The woman took a picture of it and said she was sharing the idea with her church.
Children’s Time and Children’s Church are a way to help children learn the topic of the message when appropriate. Emily Schoeller, Director of Children and Family Ministry does a wonderful job. She is quick to add, it’s a wonderful team working with our children and youth. Thank you to all the members who share not only the Gospel, but their very lives.
Vacation Bible School is the best week of the summer. It is an intergenerational experience. Again, it would not be possible without the many members who give a day or the week to help lead the children.
Wednesday Church Night is for all God’s Children, of all ages. From the Parent and Preschooler class, Children’s Ministry, Confirmation, Peer Ministry, and Adult Study, there is something for everyone.
St. Luke’s partners with other organizations from Learning Tree Development Center year round care for infant to preschool (http://www.learningtreedevelopmentcenter.com) along with St. Luke’s own Preschool during the school year (https://www.stlukesbloomington.org/preschool.html) children are welcome during the week.
1st-12th grade students can attend Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp. (https://lakewapo.org) for Seeds Camp, Youth Camp, Ox Lake, or the Student Leadership Program. St. Luke’s has 11 going up the week of July 10-15.
Then there are the High School Mission Trips. There is a rotation of five unique experiences. You can read more about them on our website (https://www.stlukesbloomington.org/youth-ministry-summer-opportunities.html). This year is the Boundary Waters, caring for God’s Creation. There are still five spaces available. 8th-12th grade students can go on their own. Younger students can go with a guardian. Adults are always welcome. Prayerfully consider your participation June 19-25.
These are our faith formation experiences along with Milestone Ministries, plus Basketball, other events, retreats, service opportunities both here at St. Luke’s and in our community.
So thank you to St. Luke’s for fulfilling your baptism promises as we support the children and youth of our congregation and their friends.
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”