In Touch June 5, 2009
Posted on June 5, 2009 by under Touché,

“The Torch is Passed”

“Christianity is only one generation away from extinction.”

Last night the elders met with the 2009 confirmation group.  This is always one of my favorite nights of the year.  My youngest child, Andrew, confessed his faith before the elders last night so it was especially poignant for me as parent and pastor to see the faith confessed by the next generation.   In a way it was a completion of the baptismal vows that Cathy and I made for our kids, but it is a reminder that the work of the covenant continues with all our kids at HRC. 

We can thank the mentors who worked with these young people.  They worked on behalf of all of us. There were three young mentors from the Nieves family.  Josh, David and Jen all served as mentors this year for Anthony DiGregorio, Mikhail Bantin and Christy Seregely..  It is great to see these young people, who were confirmed at HRC now working to mentor the next generation of leaders in the church.

Michelle Ryan and Madeline Gerlach connected through their mission experience at Katrina.  Rick Rieland taught Sam Pearson in Sunday school and also was just working with him on a mission trip to the Gulf Coast.  Kristen O’Connor’s mom and Nancy Hermann, her mentor, are in the same ChristCare group.  Kristen rode in the car as mothers traveled together.  Pat Boyd, the preacher, mentored Andrew Holbrook, the preacher’s son. Carl Nussle, strongly connected with the Dolan family, mentored Ian.  Michael Pearlman, graduating this year from High School, guided Tyler Neckles.  Jan Sabellico shared life with Alyssa Gates.  Kim Praino knew her mentor, Sheryle Silvern, very well, , because Kim has worked with her Mom in children’s ministry for a long time.  Nancy Juliano, who has worked with Sheryle, mentored Sheryle’s daughter Emily.  Teddy Russel, new to the church, had Rick Goerg, one of our most energetic mentors.  Caitlin Stark shared her with Toni Viau, who knew her through the neighborhood and mission trips.  Emily Williams worked with another new mentor, Karen Gomba.  It was a great group of people who shared great stories of faith with a great new generation of Jesus followers.

Only three of the young people were baptized at Hopewell: Tyler Neckles , Madeline Gerlach  and Emily Silvern.  And Emily was baptized, not as an infant, but on her confession in 2005.  It has been said that “Christianity is always one generation away from extinction.”  That is why the nurturing of the next generations in faith is holy work for the church.  Some of you stood for the baptisms of Tyler, Madeline and Emily.  I hope you will all celebrate as we stand to share their professions of faith with all of these confirmands.  The next generation is in good hands because in this place water is thicker than blood.