In the midst of traveling, late nights, different routines, and middle-of-the-night-wake-up calls from the baby, I forgot about my daughter’s baptismal anniversary.
It wasn’t until we arrived at her godmothers’ home and they presented her with a gift that I realized what I had forgotten.
“This is for you to remember your baptism.”
It would have passed us by if not for the remembrance of our friends.
And isn’t that the gift of community? The gift of baptizing our children into a community that will remember and support and love all those who have been baptized?
Thanks to my daughter’s godmothers I remembered the power of others being community for my children.
Here’s to all the people who help raise our children – whether family, friends, church members, or simply people we meet along the way.
Here’s to the grandmothers and grandfathers who offer a secret piece of candy to the children week after week.
Here’s to the high school students who get our children from Sunday school and sit with them in the pews.
Here’s to the adopted families our children claim as their own.
Here’s to the kids who teach high-five and fist-bump passing of the peace.
Here’s to the friends who come over in the middle of the night to watch your kids when you make a hospital run.
Here’s to the children who run around the sanctuary week after week knowing they are loved and safe.
Here’s to the young families who share joys and sorrows and me too’s throughout the long days and short years of parenting.
Here’s to the congregation members who cheer on children reading for the first time in church in front of so many people.
Here’s to the congregation members who offer a calming hand for the fussy baby.
Here’s to the congregation members who tell the young families: I’m glad you’re here, I know it’s hard, but your family’s presence makes a difference.
Here’s to being community together.
To raising leaders.
To remembering that we all are children of God.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website: http://kimberlyknowlezeller.com or follow her work on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimberlyKnowleZeller/