On Sunday, August 7th, we will be dedicating and blessing little Leemin Troy Rmah Rahlan, son of Thuien Rahlan (Dad) and Phyup Rmah (Mom). The photo is of the parents and Nancy Carol and me at the family celebration when they finally brought little Leemin home from the hospital back in February.  Now, he will be presented to the church, healthy and growing. Whenever we have these wonderful little ceremonies of blessing, we make promises. The parents make promises to honor their own commitments to Christ and raise the child so that he (in this case!) will come to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The extended family and friends make promises to support this family in its faith as it raises this child. And the congregation makes promises, too. Baby dedications are especially beautiful in our little church. They are more than markers in the life of a growing family. They are a reaffirmation for all of us that we are part of one another, that we are, as the promises we agree to state, “A family in Christ whose love for these parents and this child cannot be broken.” We make the promises for this child, and we re-commit ourselves to doing so for all children. Children’s Moments, Children’s Church, our professional Nursery Attendant, and the attention we pay to children through mentoring and other support of young people are some of the ways we indicate that we have taken those promises seriously. Of course, many of us take these promises seriously in our lives beyond Sunday morning as well.

Children are indeed the life’s work of many in our church. In addition to pediatric doctors and nurses, there are some teachers (retired and currently teaching) and childcare professionals. And, of course, we have grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents and children–some of whom are impacted by the school system every day, and others that have a few years before they’ll enter that phase of life. At the request of one of our teachers, we began a relationship with Classroom Central a handful of years ago. This group provides school supplies for schools and children for whom purchasing these items is a hardship. We don’t get to know the children who will receive the items given. We don’t get to know the teachers whose classrooms will benefit from the generosity of First Christian Church. We just get to know that, by doing this work, we have sought to provide for those children with the kind of help and support we would provide for our own children as the school year begins. While we are not evangelizing the children we support through Classroom Central, we are providing for them in a way that is selfless and kind. We are giving them something they need to be able to succeed in life without strings. That is love, the best kind of love, and God blesses it.

So now is the time to put our “money where our mouth is” and support the kids in our greater community. As the Back to School sales are in full force, our purchasing power increases.  It would be wonderful to have a record number of donations, as we come to this drive for school supplies on the heels of this baby dedication (and one just two weeks prior for little Mary Madalen). We are collecting both art supplies and office supplies.

Art Supplies:
Colored Pencils
Crayon Packs
Markers
Glue Bottles and Sticks
Scissors
Construction Paper

Office Supplies:
Note Pads (any size) and Post-It-Notes
Staplers
Staples and Removers
Tape and Tape Dispensers
Hole Punchers
Paper Clips

Please leave these items in the bins in our church entryway (also known as the narthex). If you have other new school supplies you have collected that are not on this list, we will be glad to take those as well.

As you collect items, you may want to think about the child or the classroom that will receive them. Pray for the hands that will hold those pencils and crayons, the parents that will look at the assignments stapled together that their children have brought home, the teachers that never know who has taken the tape dispenser this time, and the eyes that will be reading comments on those post-it-notes. You, by contributing to this drive, will be contributing to the future of a child and his/her family.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to love the children in your path. Maybe I’ll see you Sunday at the Baby Dedication!