While Pastor Michael is on sabbatical, our weekly E-pistle will be written by different individuals. This week’s E-pistle is by Adam Sherr, marking nearly 23 years as an Old First Member…
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
Mark 10: 14 “But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, ‘Allow the little children to come to me! Don’t forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’
I have been attending Old First Reformed UCC for over 22 years. November 2017 will mark the 23rd anniversary of my trip to DiNardo’s, with Sarah’s family, when we discovered Old First. We came the next day for services and have never stopped! One of my favorite times in the service is during the Time for the Children. I love that Old First is such a vibrant community and honors its children from Sunday School, to leading worship, to special time, to allowing for some extra noise during services. I do believe that most of what we do should be focused on the children and youth of the world. Building them up is what ensures a better future for us all.
Nothing is more of a journey than parenting children in today’s world. With so much uncertainty, political churn, and media at all times, life could be overwhelming. And, to get through it all, I often focus on my primary job in life, no, not being the University Registrar at Penn, but being a parent. I consider myself lucky and blessed to have two amazing kids and an amazing partner in parenting. We have our ups and downs (as any family does), but there are more smiles than frowns, more laughter than tears, and we focus on the highs to get us through the lows.
Our parenting journey has been enhanced by being part of the Old First Community. At church, we have always felt as if we have been blessed with a community of aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, all who share our hopes and dreams for our kids. From Jane Ubele Whitney sitting with our children so we could sing in the Choir, to the amazing Confirmation mentorship our kids have had from Julie Steiner and Suzanne Cole, to the advice and assistance we have had from parents who had walked the journey before us, there has never been a shortage of support. And, to me, that is what church is all about. A Christian Community rooted in valuing people, embracing diversity, loving God and each other, and having fun (yes, fun, even in church!).
This past year or so has illuminated journeys even more for me. I started a new job at Penn, the only professional employer I have ever known, and while it has been my “dream job,” it has been a lot of new and time consuming tasks. Meanwhile, Anna completed Confirmation and we watched her grow as a Christian in that process. Then, when school ended, she and Sarah got to journey internationally with her Choir in Europe. A once in a lifetime experience! And Alexa, well, all she did was finish her decade at Oaklyn Public School (she moves to Collingswood High School next year) and has also had an amazing sports journey as her softball team moves through the Sectional Tournament. Watching these young adults grow and blossom is both exciting and terrifying. I feel like the journey is speeding up, going faster and faster, and I am not sure where we are headed.
What I can say for sure is that I feel the power of God with me on the journey. And, friends, I know that the community of Old First is walking with us on the journey, no matter where it takes us. And for this, I am grateful and Thank God.
See you in Church!