This Sunday, we will again participate in the Blessing of the Students. During the service, we will have a time when we invite our children, youth, and college students to stand at the front of the sanctuary. We will also invite our teachers and educators to stand, and then we will participate in a prayer of blessing and dedication for all of these beginning a new school year. This is a significant time of transition for our students and educators, and they need our support, encouragement, and prayers. At the end of the service, adults will have the opportunity to take a card with the name of a student and serve as that student’s special prayer partner for the upcoming school year. There will be a table set up in the vestibule and in the children’s hallway where you can sign up to be a prayer partner. We will have some suggestions for those who take a name so each youth and child will know which adult is praying for him or her. I invite you to consider prayerfully whether you would be willing to make the commitment to be a prayer partner for one of our students.
Many of you have heard me talk about how much I value being part of an intergenerational church. There are many churches these days that have focused their outreach on one particular age group (usually young adults), and as a result, the majority of members/participants come from similar age groups. While it can be a blessing to be able to interact with many people your own age at church and to share common experiences, I believe the family of God is strengthened when we can learn from different generations in addition to those who are at the same life stage. It is such a treat for me to see our older members interacting with, supporting, and encouraging our youth and children. I love it when our kids can find ways to serve our older adults and when all age groups can learn from the perspective and experiences of differing generations. As the body of Christ, we all need each other, and I am grateful that Hope Valley continues to seek out ways to encourage fellowship, discipleship, and ministry with all ages.
I believe there is much to celebrate at Hope Valley these days and hope you will join me in continuing to pray for God to shape us as His disciples and empower us for ministry in our community.