When our senior preachers sat down a few months ago to develop a theme that would unite the various elements of this year’s Youth Sunday Service, they settled on one word: “voice.”

Taken as a concept, “voice” is something to which most of us can relate. We can recall a time when the voice of a loved one helped us make sense of the world. We know what it is like to search for our own voice amidst the world’s chatter. Perhaps we’ve even found ourselves longing to hear God’s voice in times of trial and moments of joy.

“Voice” plays a pivotal role in the worship life of our congregation. We listen for the word —proclaimed so that we might hear the voice of God. We unite our voices in songs of praise and thanksgiving. In the Affirmation of Faith, we confess with our mouths what we believe in our hearts. Voice is never absent in our worship, even in moments of prayerful silence. Silence shouts above the cacophony of our worldly concerns. Somewhere between our humble appeals for forgiveness and the holy “amen,” rests a divine proclamation of redemption.

Youth Sunday is a celebration of the young folks for whom BMPC is a spiritual home. It is an affirmation of our commitment to be a place where people of all ages can find their voice. This not-so-traditional high holiday serves as a reminder to those of us who are long-removed from the anxious searching and nervous self-reflection of youth. It invites us to recall a time in our lives when what now seems mundane once felt new and undiscovered.

Between the liturgists, musicians and ushers who will lead us in worship this Sunday, you will have an opportunity to hear from more than 40 young voices. Listen to them. I can speak from personal experience when I say, you’re likely to hear something new.