By: The Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff, Bishop Associate of the Diocese of Virginia
Weekly Reflection , Sunday, May 12, 2019
By: David May, Rector
Last week, I met with the Confirmation Class for our final meeting. You should know, they are wonderful, wonderful young people. They are – as far as I’m concerned – the apple of God’s eye. What I appreciate most about them is the way you can see in them – here and there – a little glimpse of who they are as well as who they are becoming.
They’re finishing up eighth grade which I personally remember being ‘a challenging year’. For me at least, it was that time where it became clear that I was definitely not a child anymore, but I sure wasn’t an adult yet either. So, if you’re not a child anymore, but you’re not quite an adult, what does that make you? Well, that’s the big question at that age: who am I and what will I be? I remember trying on all kinds of answers: I’ll be a veterinarian, no, an oceanographer like Jacques Cousteau. No, I’ll be a forest ranger. For me, it was a long list!
Part of the gift these wonderful young people give to us is a reminder of the possibilities that life holds open for each of us whatever our age and however settled we think we might be. Of course, some things aren’t possibilities anymore. I’m past dreaming that I’ll be an astronaut someday, and maybe you are too. But I am sure that God is never done with us, never. In fact, God is much more interested in what we are becoming than in what we were. A wise friend said to me once, ‘God couldn’t care less about your past. But your future, now that is something that God is very interested in.’ Spending time with these beautiful young people has kept me close to that insight.
It has been a gift to be a part of our confirmands’ journey over these past months. I find them inspiring, smart, funny, intriguing, and good-hearted. And today, for who they are and what they are becoming, we surround them with our love, prayers, and encouragement. I hope that you find a way to say ‘thank you’ and ‘we love you’ to them. Their lives are already a great gift of our parish, for who we are, and for who we are becoming.
By: Emily Bruch, Director of Youth Ministries
When I was younger, my parent’s, like any parents do, tried to expose me to as many hobbies and experiences as possible. Sometimes these experiences did not go so well. My father really enjoyed fishing and well, he thought I might too. When I was about 10 years old, we went deep sea fishing. The fancy boat, the beautiful sea, and a time to spend with my father…I was so excited for the day ahead. We all loaded up on a big boat and sailed out into the ocean. Unfortunately, at that time, both myself and my father had no idea what the day had in store for us. It was finally time to fish, everyone found their spot on the boat, casted their lines and then the waiting happened. I was ABSOLUTELY miserable. Why were the fish not biting? and why was it taking so long? You would think this would be the worst for my father that day, having his impatient 10-year-old daughter bugging him constantly while trying to relax. Well then, the fish started to bite, and I quickly learned that we were keeping these fish. Looking in the cooler filled to the brim with fish devastated me. The tears started running. Crying, for the rest of the trip, I begged my father to throw each fish he caught back in the water. I am sure this is not the kind of father daughter bonding time he had in mind when planning this adventure. And let’s just say I had not been fishing since.
In the gospel today Peter and the disciples go out fishing. Every time I hear a passage about fishing in the bible, I immediately remember my own fishing experience. Now I do not believe there were any tears over catching fish for the disciples, but I can imagine on this particular trip they felt their patience tested as I had waiting. They fished through the night and yet they caught nothing. I do not know about you, but I would have given up after a few hours.