By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
On a typical Confirmation Sunday, there are a thousand tangible instructions: sit, stand, walk, go, sing, speak. People ask, “What should I wear?” Family travel from sometimes literally across the globe (as near and far as France, Spain, Australia, Boston, Denver, Florida, Lake Forest, and Warwick Avenue). The crush of the crowd makes logistics difficult. The church prints bulletins, lights candles, fills the baptismal font with water. The blessings are tangible and personal and one-on-one and witnessed by a room full of beloved community.
So while there are life and death matters at hand these days, that engulf us in grief and worry and wonder, there are also tiny griefs too, that come with rituals shifted and changed, and milestones marked in unfamiliar ways. This year for confirmation, maybe we grieve not sitting shoulder to shoulder with classmates for confirmation, not having brunch afterward with extended family, not getting a hug or handshake from the mentor who walked the way with you. Maybe you feel the little griefs too, for the things you miss in your everyday life, and the rituals and milestones, that are canceled and revised. If you need a place to send all your little griefs my inbox is there for you. I’ll pray over every little grief.
And in the meantime let’s find a thousand new ways to let joy be a healing balm. These confirmands are your neighbors, your friends, your kid’s friends, and your coworker’s friends. Fill up their inboxes and mailboxes with little joys. We are a church who weeps with those who weep and who rejoices with those who rejoice. Let us rejoice with our confirmands this Sunday. There will be blessing, there will be love, there will be hope. Wherever two or more are gathered, Christ says, there he will be. So show up this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for our YouTube livestream, and fumble through figuring out how to use the YouTube chatbox where you can add your resounding “Yes” to supporting our young people in the holy work of loving God and neighbor. Let’s pack the virtual pews, Kenilworth Union Church, for the sake of these beloved children of God: