We're going to attempt a St. Patrick's Day Parade when we head out there next on Sunday, March 17! Wear green, and make plans to join us!
As followers of Christ, we are called to go out into the world and serve. So, EYC is looking to find opportunities to do just that, including a few mission trips.
December is here, and for EYC this means that it is time for the Nativity Christmas Pageant. There is excitement in the air as we have already been planning and rehearsing. For some, this will be their last time to be a part of the Christmas Pageant, and for others this will be their first. But for all, it will be fun and joyful.
One of the great things about the Christmas Pageant is that EYC members can reflect on who they are and who God has called them to be by acting out the story of the Nativity. By acting out this story, our EYC brings parts of themselves to this story of our Lord. More importantly, this Nativity pageant immerses them in the story by pulling them directly into it as they act it out.
Please help us by making sure that the EYC is here the next two Sunday nights so we can practice. And, please pray for the EYC and all of those who are involved in the Christmas Pageant as we work on this joyous event.
The EYC had a great September as we participated in several outreach activities. These included our first trip to Beacon Harbor and the Greenwood Canned Food Drive. When we were not participating in outreach, we were taking time to reflect on “who God has called us to be.”
We are taking time over the next several weeks to ask the question, “who am I?” We have started by looking at our relationships with each other, with our friends, and with our families. We have spent time exploring our “likes” and “dislikes” and our “hopes.” We will continue this exploration of “who am I?” over the next several weeks by exploring our Christian identity.
The EYC will help with the Blessing of the Animals on October 7th. Please bring a pet and enjoy this fun-filled, Spirit-led service. We have heard that we could have pet pigs here to be blessed! After the Pet Blessing, EYC will stay to enjoy a meal and game.
EYC will host a Halloween themed party for Beacon Harbor on October 21. Our September visit meant so much to the residents of Beacon Harbor that we are still hearing from them about it. To say that they are excited about the Halloween Party would be an understatement! The plan is to have cupcakes, candy corn, and punch while we listen and dance Halloween themed music. We will also decorate pumpkins and make paper Halloween masks. This should be a wonderful time as we continue to nurture these relationships.
All Nativity youth and friends grades 6-12 are invited to our first Sunday evening gathering of the new school year on Sunday, August 19. Join us for dinner at 5 pm and programming with Phillip, Brantley, and others at 5:30 pm. We'll play games, we'll get to know more about Phillip and how he found his way to Nativity, and we'll close with prayer as always. The EYC is always in need of adults willing to provide dinner. If you can help feed our youth, sign up for a spot on the sheet in the church kitchen.
In June, Nativity will welcome the Rev. Phillip Parker, freshly-graduated from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, as a part-time Priest Associate and Youth Minister at Nativity.
Saturday, March 30, our youth group will hide eggs all over Nativity for the benefit of our
pre-school and elementary aged children. And, because candy isn't enough sugar, we'll also
be feeding them ice cream! With toppings! But before we do all this, we'll need to recover our “Alleluia!” banner so that our celebration of the resurrection can begin! The fun begins at 3pm. EYC kids check with Steve on when to report to make preparations.
One of the constants in my life in the Episcopal Church has been the springtime tradition of Youth Sunday. We did it growing up at St. Peter’s, Oxford; as a youth minister at St. Philip’s, Jackson, it was my job to corral the EYC into the roles of usher, preacher, etc.; and at Nativity, Youth Sunday remains a must-see event.
This year, Youth Sunday falls on May 14, and as usual, our young people will help carry the roles of lector, usher, and intercessor at the 10:30 service. Their presence around the altar will remind us, if we’ve forgotten, that the Church is much broader than the boring grown folk who sit in vestry meetings. Each of us – from screaming infant to senior warden – is as essential to this church family as the next. Youth Sunday reminds us of this.
Our custom at Nativity is to celebrate Youth Sunday the Sunday before graduation, which almost always falls on Mother’s Day. And because the task of preaching typically falls to a senior, our Youth Sunday sermon is often an occasion for graduating students to thank their mothers, the congregation, and others. Nonetheless, what I most look forward to in these youth sermons is hearing how our young people read, interpret, and connect the scripture of the day with their experience and life of our church family.
This year, we don’t have any Nativity seniors. Evan Lindsay is a regular at EYC, but he’s a member of Church of the Advent, Sumner. When the issue of preaching came up, this presented a problem for a moment, until finally we decided: we don’t need a graduate; we need a preacher! I am grateful that Ellie Knight accepted my invitation to preach to us on May 14. Perhaps all of you know Ellie already, but what you might not know is that she’s already taking up the mantle of church leadership, serving on Happening Staff this March. I am thrilled to hear how she wrestles with scripture, and what word of encouragement she brings from it to us.
One of the great gifts of this church family is the way that it raises up young leaders, nurturing them in the faith, and then sending them out into the world to love and serve the Lord. I look forward to celebrating them with you in a few weeks!