Faith, Family, and the Joys of Summer

Faith, Family, and the Joys of Summer

Hanging on the wall in my living room are three portraits—a picture from my wedding day and a picture of each of my kids in their baptismal outfits. I had each of my children’s baptismal outfits made from my wedding gown, so we hung those pictures together on our wall.

I often look at the picture of that young couple, and those tiny babies, and reflect on the promises that were made, on those very important days. I remember promising to regularly bring them to worship, to place in their hands the Holy Scriptures, and to provide for their instruction in the Christian faith. In turn, the church promised to partner with us as we worked to raise our children in faith. When I think about what I most wanted my kids to know and remember, it is the words spoken shortly after the water was splashed on their foreheads.

The Pastor made the sign of the cross on their foreheads and said, “Child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” I’ve always told them it is like an invisible tattoo that can remind them and the world of some essential truths. That cross on their forehead is a reminder that they are loved by God, no matter what, always. It is a reminder to live as God’s beloved child, remembering WHO they are and WHOSE they are.

I also want them to remember that God loves ALL people, and I hope they show that in how they treat their friends, neighbors, and all the people they encounter. Here at St. Andrew, we take those promises made at baptism very seriously, too. We want to be a place where young people can grow in faith, and where we can give them a foundation of Christian community and support as well as knowledge of who God is, and how much God loves them, and we want to be a place that supports families on this Children’s Ministry journey. We want to be a place to connect with other families, a place to learn and grow in faith, and a place where we experience God’s love in tangible ways.

The rhythm in my house has changed this summer as we lean into different schedules and activities, just as it does in many of your homes. At my house, I moved my two college kids home for the summer recently. The same two kids that hang in portraits on my wall as infants in their baptism outfits are grown-up college students, home for the summer. This means a lot more activity is happening in my house, the grocery bill has skyrocketed and the routines that we settled into as empty nesters has changed!

The rhythm of activities also changes here at St. Andrew for the summer! We will lean into time at Spirit in the Pines as many of us will head to camp for family camp and weekly bible camp. We will enjoy summer Sunday School at 9:00 AM. We look forward to our Vacation Bible School and Summer Socials, which are full of fun, fellowship, food, and the opportunity to connect with other families in the St. Andrew community.

Families who can help support you as you raise your children in faith. We want to celebrate the gifts that God has given all of our kids, and our Children’s Ministry staff will be attending games, concerts, recitals, and activities this summer that our kids are participating in—check out the link on our website to tell us about something you have coming up! As you splash into summer and new rhythms, we hope you find the time and space to connect with St. Andrew and the many different things happening!

Shawna Berg

Children’s Ministry Director