September 13, 2020
In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), we set aside this week to be reminded of the importance of Christian education and those leaders who teach, plan and above all nurture our faith formation. In years past, we have celebrated with kickoff Sundays and large rally day celebrations across our churches. This year, we are navigating an entirely different fall and beginning to our Christian education year. Christian Educators and church leaders have weathered a difficult spring and summer already, and looking ahead to the upcoming program year seems insurmountable at times. And yet, the energy, imagination, intelligence and love are abundant in these leaders as they have pivoted to the reality of virtual, hybrid and anything but normal settings for Christian education and faith formation. Let us take a moment to express gratitude, lament losses and frustrations and rest in the knowledge of God’s abundant grace.
Loving and Gracious God,
We wake in the morning, pause in the midday and go to bed with so much on our hearts and in our minds. We have spent our days and hours
… recording stories and lessons, Scripture videos and participating in Zoom games.
… carefully putting together packets for each child and family, assembling care packages for youth and older adults and participating in countless car parades and Zoom youth groups.
… leading Bible studies and patiently coaching our people through technology issues that we struggle with as well.
… worrying about our young people as they struggle with anxiety, depression, grief and fear.
… working through our own depression and isolation.
We are often exhausted teaching our own children and worrying about our own families and so we wonder how we can expect anyone else to add one more thing to their schedules. We wonder daily if we are doing enough, if we are enough and if this making a difference.
Our hearts are heavy over hundreds of years of racism and marginalizing God’s people. We cry out: When. Will. It. End? How can our churches stand up and do something — how can we teach them? We worry about the words and messages our children and youth are hearing in their homes and in their communities.
Stephanie Fritz, Associate Coordinator for Christian Formation, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, September 13, 2020, the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Today’s Focus: Christian Education Celebration
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray:
The God of grace and love sees you and reminds us all it isn’t about what you are doing. Remember, you are enough. So, be encouraged as you begin the new year of Christian education in these uncertain times. Remember as you spend another day struggling to turn on your Zoom camera or poring over resources that we are all stumbling through the work of the Church, the work of God’s people together. Be gentle with yourself. Take a moment to notice that chalk art message, the smiles on those youth and older adults in a parade, the waving hands of a child on the screen and the young people taking to the street to stand for justice. The holy spirit is at work in these days. May we all take the time to pay attention and be ready to follow our call together. Amen.