Where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet, we hear a further call.” -Frederick Buechner

We are glad that God has called us to accompany you in the joyful, but hard work of loving. As fellow pilgrims we also come hungry to the family table. We make no claims regarding our own expertise in the life of a family. Martin Luther put it best, “ preaching the Gospel is one beggar telling another where they both may find bread.”

If we, who belong to the One who is the Bread of Life, find any good news or help in the area of family life, we want to share it! But we do not forget that we too are beggars hoping to find bread. We are glad as we seek to offer encouragement in our journey in the “high and holy callings” of parents, grandparents and guardians who nourish the children entrusted to our care. We are companions, those who break bread together, following the path to the abundant life promised by our Savior. All of us dream dreams for our children. When I ask parents, or grandparents, “What are your dreams for your children?” they have no trouble answering. Their dreams come pouring out. “I want my child to be loved and to learn how to love.” “I want by child to know the Way of Christ.” “I want them to make good decisions.” “I want my child to be happy.” “I want her to be resilient and able to meet life challenges.”

We will try to speak to and from those dreams and the many other dreams we often hear about. We believe that these dreams are born of love and are given by God, from that first moment our newborns search our faces for the love and comfort that comes in the form of a smile. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, we try to live by and be guided by God’s Spirit: “ . . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness and self-control,” Galatians 5:22. How we long to manifest these fruits with our own dear ones, but we know that we are sometimes hardest on the ones we love the most.

As a community of believers we have everything we need for our journey together: the Bread of Life, Living Water welling up from never-failing springs, and of course, each other, and the manifold gifts instilled in the whole body of Christ, no part of which is non-essential. We give thanks to our Good Shepherd who promises to lead us beside the calming waters, toward ever-greening pastures, where we will want for nothing.

Holding fast and following the Lamb,

Your sister in Christ,
Rev. Lisa Mullen, for the Children and Family Life Commission
Director of Children and Family Ministry