Right now most of my possessions are carefully divided between boxes. There are well labeled boxes that I can unpack with ease. There are the occasional mystery boxes titled “miscellaneous” or more ominously “treasures;” I only open those when I am feeling particularly brave.

I knew which boxes I wanted to open first and I searched them out among the stacks. There were also boxes that I open with some surprise—for instance my flower pots were labeled “pots/ kitchen.”  It’s been strange to see my carefully ordered world collapsed and now waiting to be reordered in a new place.

Some things are the same. My well worn study Bible is sitting in my office by the computer. The picture of Jesus blessing the children is hanging on the wall where I can see it throughout the day. I found my real pots and pans and am happy to be cooking again. Basil, my dog, found his toys and bones and is happy to be playing again.

There are also new things. Before I even moved my Bible into my office, I found two notebooks waiting for me. One has all the members at BMPC and the other lists all the children and families. The information is neatly divided: name, phone number, address, birthday, etc. There are even pictures smiling back for some of the entries. As I work on Sunday school volunteer recruitment, I look through those binders. I see the names of children we have the opportunity to teach; I see the names of volunteers and possible teachers, the names of grandparents, and long time members. I see the carefully ordered information and I know that behind those addresses and dates are incredible stories. I see those students who are five and getting ready for their first day of Kindergarten. I see their names and I can imagine their moms and dads getting ready as well. I see names with 00M next to them, and know that that child just arrived and I can imagine the smiles of grandparents, friends and parents that surround them.

As I speak to you about the possibilities of serving in children’s ministry, I am thankful for the conversations, because you are helping me unpack in a different way. I am thankful for the stories that are being shared and the excitement that I hear. What a gift it is to get to know you and the talents you share with one another. This past Sunday when we welcomed Reese through the sacrament of Baptism, we promised to nurture him in the faith and to support Katie and Brendon in that process as well. It was a perfect first Sunday to be in Bryn Mawr. As I look through these notebooks and learn the important details and stories of this congregation, I can see the good work that has gone before and the possibility that finds us here in this place. 

Now, the real challenge--I have to find my winter coat before December arrives.