Thankful to have had St. Mary’s

Weekly Reflection, Friday, June 10

By: John Wootton, Graduating High School Class of 2022

As I look back on my high school years, while preparing for the next stage of my life, I am thankful to have had St. Mary’s as a place of joy and solace. One of my first experiences at St. Mary’s was as the sole 9th grader going through confirmation. At first I was nervous and uncomfortable, as I did not know any members of the class. However, thanks to the mentorship of St. Mary’s leaders, especially David May and Emily Bruch, I ended up feeling secure, and ultimately reaffirming my relationship with God, which has been one of my most meaningful experiences at St. Mary’s.

One of my sweetest memories of St. Mary’s is my grandmother Bam’s memorial service. The outpouring of love and support during this difficult time was incredibly helpful for my entire family, and the service was a beautiful way to honor her. I especially appreciated reading a passage, along with my brother and sister, during the service, and seeing the genuine support from all those who attended. This service will always hold a special place in my heart.

Towards the end of my high school days, I had the opportunity to assist with the Christmas pageant this past winter. Serving partly as “security” for the more restless, youngest participants, I loved helping the children as they helped the whole St. Mary’s community celebrate the birth of Christ. This pageant spoke to the strong sense of friendship and community that is present at St. Mary’s. I look forward to being a witness for these young St. Mary’s children as they grow and serve as acolytes, readers, and are confirmed themselves. I have also loved coming to St. Mary’s each Sunday and personally knowing the leaders of every service. This connection has allowed me to get more out of each lesson and strengthen my connection with both the church and with God.

While moving forward to the next part of my life will be difficult and scary at times, I know I will always be able to come back to the Church for support. I am thankful for the lessons I have been taught while at St. Mary’s, and I feel I have left it as a better person with a stronger spiritual connection.