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POP Question
of the Month

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Pastor's Piece:

“What have we done to you, my dear little Rebekah?” It’s hard to believe that more than 14 years have passed since I shared those words to begin the paschal homily at the Easter Vigil in April 2003. We kept her awake late that night and dressed her in a white gown so that she could receive the sacrament of holy baptism. That night Rebekah’s mother and I made promises that we would raise her in the Christian faith. None of the promises that we made, however, could ever mean as much or cancel the promises that God made to Rebekah that night. Those promises of God’s steadfast love remain constant and permanent regardless of whatever earthly promises might have been issued. It is a very comforting message to know that even when we fail in big ways, God finds even bigger ways to make things right.

That baptismal moment so many years ago will be remembered on June 4th as Rebekah publicly affirms her Christian faith at the feast of Pentecost that day. Whenever a young Christian leader affirms his or her faith in our congregation, it is reason for us all to pause and give thanks to God. The challenge of supporting young people in their continued development in faith remains a daunting task in the world today. I thank Jesus for the incredible work that he continues to do among us. Additionally, I thank Mike Lewis for his work in supporting the confirmation ministry again this year as an adult leader and mentor to the students. I thank Pastor Marc Stutzel and the people of Christ Lutheran Church in Woodcliff Lake for allowing us to partner with them in this essential ministry. I thank the Nelson family for their flexibility and faithfulness in ensuring that Jack was present at our Sunday evening class sessions. I thank all of you for the love and support that you have given to Rebekah and the rest of my family over many years. The people of Prince of Peace have truly felt like an extension of my own nuclear family. I have been amazed and wonderfully surprised by grace too many times to count. That grace will continue to be ever needed in challenging attitudes in the world that increasingly contradict the teachings of Christ and his love for all people. Followers of Jesus who are authentic, available and affirming to one another are more needed than ever.

I have always believed and taught that confirmation is not graduation. It is meant to be the beginning of a lifetime of adult learning in the Christian faith. That emphasis is probably more important now than it was when I began my pastoral ministry. Please join us for the celebration of Pentecost and remain open and willing to respond to the ways that the Holy Spirit will lead us in the time to come. There is much for us to do and learn, but there is even more for us to celebrate because of what God has done and will do through Jesus Christ!

- Pastor John Holliday

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