It’s hard to imagine the new normal of post-COVID church. As the devastating impact of the pandemic continues to work its way across the globe, I am certain that places where mutual care, reflection and deep connection happen will matter more. I believe that our church is a place that will matter more not less to those of us who call it our spiritual place.
With this hope in mind, I was truly honored to gather a group of confirmands at church last Sunday to begin a creative spiritual journey with them in our newly renovated McCormack Lounge. With member Janet Arms assisting, we talked about what it means to be found by God, and known and loved as Children of God. We also did a Bible study together on the Gospel set for worship that day, and then gathered for worship at 4PM on the back lawn. Before the service began, Mary Beth Merryman gave the confirmands a lesson on how to set up the beautiful, outdoor altar for worship. How much our young people learned, I cannot say. But I hope they felt like they were in a spiritual place, and that it was their spiritual place; and at the end of the course, when they are confirmed, the community of St. Barnabas will matter more to them, not less.
With this hope in mind, I invite you to keep them in your prayers: Caitlin Thomas, Alex Williams, Julia Smith-Marrone, Scarlett Zumbro, Wilson Lark, Drew Krzemienski and Emmaline LeBuhn. I also know there are more young people poised to join the group, as their sports schedules allow. May this small group of learners know that they are part of a network of learners gathering together for mutual care, reflection and deep connection, as program offerings such as Connected Parenting and Women’s Group begin to meet again.
Gareth Evans serves as the rector of St. Barnabas. He is an inspirational leader who brings significant pastoral experience, a depth of reverence in worship, and a relatable preaching style.