Corrie Cabes, St. Martin’s children and youth minister, talks about about purpose and commitment. We are called to be so much as we live into our church mission statement, to be transformed into the image of Christ, to use our heart, hands and feet as response to God’s great abundance in the world. What does this mean for the youth of our parish? What can they do? What can you do to help?
Read what Corrie said
This year we are asking you to make a commitment to St. Martin’s. But what does this mean for the youth of our parish? What can they do? What can you do to help?
I’m teaching the children to live each day with purpose this year with the help of some excellent volunteers, in the spirit of St. Benedict. Kids and teens are learning “the fives” which are pray, give, worship, serve and love and we are putting them in practice in lots of ways.
Maybe you will hear about your child making prayer placemats to make a meal brighter for someone in prison. A teen may tell you that they did something weird with gum wrappers, writing down prayer requests on the inside of the silvery, foil gum wrappers.
You might participate in our toy drive for homeless children that starts next week. You can check out wish lists near the entrance of the sanctuary and these toys will definitely comfort children who could really use a doll to hold or a toy to play with as they struggle to get settled at Union Gospel Mission. It’s a way to prepare your heart to encounter Jesus, whose parents were seeking a place to stay at his birth.
There’s nothing complicated to any of this, but there is purpose behind it. There’s commitment behind it, too.
I want to talk to you a little more about purpose and commitment now. Our mission statement is such a call to commit every bit of who we are as people of faith. Our mission is a tall order – to be Jesus’ heart, hands and feet to everyone. Sometimes for fun I ask the kids to add in toenails or eyelashes as well. We are called to be so much, transformed into the image of Christ, using our heart, hands and feet, as response to God’s great abundance in the world.
This summer our youth and adults got to live out this mission statement at Union Gospel Mission for a week of mission work with the homeless. It was transformative.
Teens and adults worked side by side and we sweated, we worked hard and we sometimes had moments of tears. We poured out every bit of ourselves to become one body in Christ.
Instead of feeling sad and hopeless at the many faces of children and adults who we encountered seeking shelter at UGM, we saw Christ in every corner. We saw Jesus in each face and we gathered strength and new purpose to do more. We recommitted ourselves each day and we reached out. And yes, we were all about the “fives”-pray, give, worship, serve and love.
Our experience at UGM took time, talent and treasure. When I look at you all, I see all of these things. I see those who maybe have a bit of money to spare. I see those who have time to listen to a teen or a child who needs someone to offer that one kind word that they may never get at home. I see everyone here possessing amazing, God-given gifts, gifts that were set ablaze in each of our hearts by the fire of the Holy Spirit and awakened by the blessed water of Baptism. You may not be able to see what you have to offer, but it’s there, just as real and alive as God’s presence is right here in this very moment, in this very place.
So, now I need your help. I’ve got kids who are the church now, to paraphrase Bishop Gulick, our first provisional bishop. They don’t want to wait to be a part of the great work of the church. No matter where you are on your journey of faith, there’s a kid who is on their journey too and could use a guide.
The youth are part of many of the ministries in our church including outreach. They want to do more! So, what I am asking you today, is to reach out and make a commitment. I’m asking for you to look at what the “fives” mean to you. I’m asking you to join me in making a commitment of your time, talent and treasure to reach out and support St. Martin’s and the youth to be Jesus’ heart, hands and feet to everyone.