God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals.
Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start.
Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Book of Common Prayer, p 829
At our 10:15 service this week we celebrate Youth Sunday. I am increasingly mindful of how challenging it is for anyone, particularly our younger folks, to be a follower of Jesus in the modern world. The prayer above has always been one of my favorites. I am more in mindful than ever of our young people as I read John 21, our Gospel for Sunday. Jesus reminds Peter that he need not be perfect to follow Jesus (goes for all of us), only the will and the support. My prayer is that we at St. James will support our young people as a community. Remind them of how much they mean to us, including our college students, who I sometimes forget, as they leave us to grow and find new frontiers; they still need us, too.
My hope is that in the coming year we will have many more folks volunteer to teach in Church School; regardless of background or where you are in life, you have something special to offer our young people. Find a young person and tell them how glad you are that they and their family are here. Show forth the love of Jesus in the world and support parents who are so often overworked, over-scheduled, and overwhelmed. Christ is the way, and the truth, and the life, so let us share that reality with each other, particularly those who are "growing up in an unsteady and confusing world ..." Our support of them now means that they might shape the world with the love of God in Christ that can create a different world, a better world, a more loving world.
Fr. George +