Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2023 Blog #15
April 10, 2023
Those of you who are approximately my age remember that every September when school started again all the students were given the assignment to write an essay, “what I did on my summer vacation.” My age group also remembers the comedians “Cheech and Chong” doing a controversial skit around that same subject. There are variants on that theme each week of our lives when people ask us, “what are you doing over the weekend?” or “where are you going on vacation?”
This week I was very pleased with the answer that a young man, Liam, who had a great answer to that question. He was on spring break from school. His grandfather, Jack, is one of the volunteers who makes lunches for our Day-Laborer Ministry. Jack and Liam are not members of our congregation although I wish they were. They are part of the UCC Church in nearby Cresskill. We have partnered with that congregation for years in this ministry.
I have met Liam before. On the occasion of school holidays he has sometimes come and help prepare the lunches for distribution. This week, on the week of his school vacation, he chose to come and help us again. He could have stayed sleeping late in bed. Liam also had the option of staying home and playing games or watching television. He made a different choice, a choice to come and prepare lunches for those less fortunate than himself. I celebrate that he made such a choice.
So, what did he do? He carried boxes of supplies. He loaded bags with chips, cookies, apples, water and sandwiches. He also filled three boxes of prepared lunch bags. There were thirty-six lunches made altogether. He did all this work happily without complaint. He didn’t even complain about bringing the extra supplies back into the storeroom.
When he had so many other options of how to use his time, why would he make such a choice? I believe that in part it was because of the mentoring of Grandpa Jack. Grandpa Jack introduced him to this mission and showed his enthusiasm for this work. Grandpa Jack led by example. He taught by showing and doing and that is often the best learning.
A new generation is now helping with this ministry because of this mentoring. This is an example for all of us who mentor children in one way or another. Our influence in the young can be a positive or a negative. The young will learn both from what we do as well as what we do not do.
Do we show the young that worship of God is important? Are we demonstrating that prayer is crucial to a life filled with Christ’s peace? Are we demonstrating that service to others is more important than personal comfort?
Let all of us grown-ups be mindful of what we are teaching the next generations.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please look at his website:
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