Dear Hyde Park Family,

Last Sunday morning, I spent the 9:30 hour with about thirty of our seventh-grade confirmation students, to walk them through a rehearsal for our Confirmation Service on April 24. I also spent time with the entire youth group, for a special Pastor’s Q&A with our teens.

You would be amazed by the earnest and deeply reflective questions our youth are asking about Jesus, the Bible, and the Christian faith. I knew of a few of their questions in advance:

  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • What is it going to be like when I die?
  • I understand God, I understand Jesus, but I do not understand the Holy Spirit. Can you help me understand it more?

And then there were the questions that they asked spontaneously, in real time, straight from their hearts:

  • What do we do with all the violence in the Bible?
  • What do we do with all the contradictions within the Bible?
  • How can we make sure we don’t use the Bible to justify hate?

I walked away from my time with the youth group full of gratitude for the faithful way our kids ask hard questions about the faith. I am also grateful to be serving a church which creates an environment where our children feel safe to ask those questions, without fear of being judged or shunned. The great 20th century missionary Elisabeth Elliot said, “Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”

I give thanks for the amazing adult confirmation facilitators, youth group volunteers, and staffers Katherine Cosmas and John Barolo for reminding our youth each week that in this church, our faith can handle the questions that they carry with them.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL!

And then, throughout the morning, I watched as our children’s ministry staff and volunteers were joyfully promoting our upcoming Vacation Bible School, taking place June 27-30, 9 a.m. to noon. Registration is now open to members of our church, and to the general public next Monday.

More importantly, I encourage you to consider volunteering for Vacation Bible School this year. There is an open volunteer slot for VBS with your name on it, just waiting for you to say yes! Even if you have never volunteered for VBS before, and even if you never thought you could do children’s ministry, you can be trained and resourced with all that you need to make a huge difference in the life of a child. Click here to inquire about ways to serve.

Together, let us continue to provide a safe, warm, and joyful place for our children and youth to grow, learn, and most importantly, ask questions without fear.

Grace and Peace,

Magrey