I often tell people that one of the many things I love about Redeemer is the fact that every time I walk in the door, I grow. That is such a gift, one I have never experienced at any other church of which I have been a part. When I reflect on my five years here, I am amazed at the changes I see in myself and how strong my faith has become. I would often wonder what I was being prepared for as my sedate, drama-free life didn’t really call upon me to have a strong faith to see me through.
Almost three years ago, David and Cristina approached me about taking on a new part-time role here at Redeemer as Director of Children’s Ministries. I was flattered to be asked, and I wanted to give back to this place that has given so much to me, so I agreed even though nothing in my experience of teaching high schoolers Algebra seemed to indicate that I would have any idea how to develop and implement programming to teach young children about our faith. And truth be told, most days I walked into the Children’s Ministries office and prayed, “Help me, Holy Spirit.” The Spirit always seemed to show up to help me serve the families of our parish.
What I didn’t expect was how the experience would change me. Any educator can tell you that when you are planning effective instruction, the key is to focus on the learning target. What do you want the student to understand and what is the best way to make that knowledge stick? What in their experience can you build on to lead them to that understanding? How can they apply it in a meaningful way?
What I wanted to communicate to our children is that they are beloved children of God, created in the image of God and that God is good. I wanted them to know that we are a family here at Redeemer, they are an important, integral part of that family and they have gifts and talents to help them to serve here and out in the world. Every day, they are an agent of God’s love and light when they go out into the world being kind and helping those in need.
I have become aware through my time in this position that even though I could give lip service to those ideas, I didn’t really “know” them. As I kept returning my focus back to these learning targets each week, they began to take root down in the deepest part of myself.
You may already know that in March my Daddy died quite unexpectedly. He was the caregiver of the love of his life for 56 years, my 93-year old, wheelchair-bound Momma. I was their only child although I am blessed to have an older sister from Momma’s first marriage who along with all her children and grandchildren have taken on the role of being very involved in Momma’s care at the nursing home we have found for her. My part for the moment is to clear out their house and deal with all the many details that come up in times of change such as these.
Because of these obligations, I am no longer able to serve Redeemer as Director of Children’s Ministries, and David has accepted my resignation. I am so grateful to all of you who have stepped in for our children at my sudden departure. And I am also grateful to my Redeemer family for helping me grow and for giving me the opportunity to learn and to really know that I know that I know that I am a beloved child to God, created in God’s image with gifts and talents to share here and out in the world as an agent of God’s love and light. And that God is good. Always. My prayer is that you will all know that too.
I look forward to seeing you all again when I can return from Texas and resume my original role here as your fellow parishioner.
Blessings and love,