Each week at Plymouth we welcome children and youth in the name of Christ. This is part of our mission and ministry, our programming, our duty and our privilege. And it is an important part of our budgeting each year. We have a highly qualified and dedicated staff of nine childcare workers who welcome and care for our youngest ones during all our worship services and certain special events during the year. They are hired and trained by the Rev. Mandy Hall, our Director of Christian Formation for Children and Youth. You may occasionally see them in their sky blue childcare team t-shirts as they come and go from the north wing to the kitchen in their cleaning duties. (After every shift all the toys used are washed as well as the rooms cleaned by these staff members.) I always find them cheerful and upbeat and I am trying to learn all their names in order to welcome them personally to their workplace. They are a hidden, but VERY important part of our community and ministry. I encourage you to greet them, learn their names, make them feel welcome because they are welcoming our children in Jesus’ name!
After a resolution by our 2017 UCC General Synod on equity in pay and minimum wage requirements, Plymouth’s Leadership Council and Budget and Finance Committee made a commitment to raise our pay for contract workers at Plymouth to the national minimum wage goal of $15/hr by 2019. This goes into effect in January. This is right and just to do. It also ensures that we get and keep the best caregivers for our children. Your pledge to Plymouth will empower this justice action of fair pay and this ministry action of welcoming and caring for our youngest children.
Please bring your pledge card to church this coming Sunday to celebrate Consecration Sunday! (You can also send it in the mail, or pledge online with a form here, or pledge using the F1Go app right on your smartphone or tablet!)
"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” says Jesus. Having children is one of the most humbling experiences in this life. You are suddenly responsible for these ones who are so fragile and yet so resilient. Who soak up love and learning, yet teach us so much about ourselves.
May we remember that we are all children of God. May we treat each other as beloved children in need of love, respect and care even as we humble ourselves to receive love, respect and care from one another. May we remember to humble ourselves before God, giving back to God from the abundance we have been given. May we remember that whoever welcomes one such child in Jesus’ name welcomes Jesus who came to reveal to us the face of God.
Blessings on the journey,
The Rev. Jane Anne Ferguson, Associate, Minister, is a writer, storyteller, and contributor to Feasting on the Word, a popular biblical commentary. She is also the writer of sermon-stories.com, a lectionary-based story-commentary series. Learn more about Jane Ann here.