Editor’s Note: This past Sunday at Floris UMC, a few high school seniors preached the sermon during the worship services. Their sermons can be viewed here.
As I sat there Sunday listening to our high school seniors share their stories, I couldn’t help but see God at work in our church. These young people stood boldly before the congregation and shared how Floris UMC has shaped their lives. They talked of the milestones: Sunday school, Confirmation, mission trips, and of the many ways that they have participated in the life of this church.
I listened to them talk about the impact that Floris UMC has had on their lives and I couldn’t help but feel an immeasurable sense of admiration. The people of this church took seriously the vow they made the day these children were baptized. The congregation answered the calls to serve as Sunday school teachers, Confirmation mentors and mission trip leaders. They encouraged these students to use their gifts and welcomed them as they served in areas such as Grace Ministry, ESL and Sunday school. This congregation invested time, love, and guidance into these students so that they might go into the world and tell of the goodness and love they found here.
In a few short months these students are heading off to college. They go equipped with the knowledge and love of Christ and a deep sense of responsibility to share this gift with others. Mason told us, “The goal is given but the journey is ours.” Anna said, “I know that if I am not actively furthering God’s kingdom then what I am spending my life doing is really inconsequential” and Laura shared, “Regardless of my career I want to be a farmer, and I want to sow seeds for God’s kingdom.” They are excited about what lies ahead, as Sarah shared, “I am ready to go and find out what this journey—my journey, has to offer” and yet they understand what a blessing this church has been to them as Brooke added, “As I leave for college I know it will be hard to leave behind the church.” But most importantly they know what Emily shared, “…that God goes with us and will always be there with us.”
I am so thankful for a church that is committed to children and students, I am excited about what is ahead for these young people, and I am humbled by this amazing congregation and what God is doing here.