As I was listening to our Children’s Entrance song at our Contemporary Service in September the lyrics popped out to me. “Teach your parents well. Their children’s hell will slowly go by. And feed them on your dreams, the ones they pick, the one’s they’ll know by.” Of course this is the last verse of Crosby, Stills and Nash’s classic, “Teach your children”. I’ve always thought that these lyrics offer an insight into the process of growing up, of getting past the “tough stuff”, learning from it, and then passing on the growth and vision that come from it not only “down” the generations, but “up” the generations as well. As our children were coming in for communion I thought of how I hope this is true for us in our young people’s programs; being receivers as well as sharers.
The first verse and title of that song are also true without saying, “teach your children”. It’s what has gone on for millennia. And that sense was brought home to me again by the deaths of four of our oldest parishioners in the past 4 months. Stan Sheldon, Mary “Gil” Brooks and Margaret “Peg” Koerner died this past June. Just last month, Gretalyn Elmen, who often shared a pew with the two ladies, also died. Each was pre-deceased by his/her partner some years ago. Each, in his/her way created a legacy here, with their families and in the communities they lived. I have learned important things from each.
We are called to learn from one another. I’m reminded of this when there are new parishioners who become friends and participants. New participants always change who we are! On a practical basis we do this by listening and paying attention. We do this by using nametags so we get to know each other’s names. We do this in our Newer Members Dinner in the fall, and by inviting new input and volunteer energy. In this we evolve in ways that, I trust, bring us a little closer to one another and perhaps, to God…. Fr. D