At worship last Sunday, SouthWest celebrated the baptism of Hayley Cecelia Webster. She was welcomed into God's family with unconditional love, joy, lots of water and promises of the heart. Her siblings Madison and Nathan traced their hands onto paper and distributed them to all present. Everyone wrote a blessing or a promise on these 'sibling' hands which were offered to Haley as her baptism candle was lit.
When some of his disciples wanted to exclude children, Jesus blessed them instead and made a promise: unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in. (Mark 10: 13-16). The promise to welcome children is fundamental to our faith.
I include in the newsletter the personalised promises made by godparents and parents last Sunday. They touched me and they blessed Hayley.
I will be interring the ashes of my brother Joe this week-end at the Lefneski family plot in Guelph. In such difficult times promises root each of us and say that neither you nor I, nor our families are alone.
Thanks be to God.
I promise to help you whenever you are in need.
I promise to guide you down the right path, to encourage you to never give up on yourself.
And to care for you and love you.
To love you,
To guide you,
To support you,
To care for you,
To encourage you,
And to hold you in my heart
Forever and always
RYAN AND KIA (Parents)
Although God already knows you, and loves you, as parents it is our job to guide you with a gentle hand. To teach you all the qualities of Jesus that we strive to emulate through everyday acts of kindness, humility, patience and forgiveness. To see struggles as gifts and as ways to grow one's character and learn how to trust in God. Thankfully we are not alone in this endeavor, but at least for a little while, we'll be the loudest voices in your ear.
To this we could say: Amen! Alléluia!
- Rev. David