Minister’s Reflection – Sept. 5,19
Rev. Dave Crawford
“In Celebration of M’s and P-M’s”
Truthfully, I haven’t watched tennis since the days of Ivan Lendl and Martina Navatrilova. That’s a long time! I think my tv watching habits will change this week, if time allows, with the quick rise of new Canadian tennis sensation Bianca Andreescu! Just 19 years of age, she’s made it to the U.S. Open semifinals and plays later today. Only three other women in tennis history have made it to the semis in a major competition on their first attempt: Chris Evert, Pam Shriver, and Venus Williams. I watched the full highlights last night and Andreescu dominates the court with her speed and power. Even the interview following her victory was delightful.
Andreescu’s success got me thinking about Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Post-Millennials (born 1997 – present) and how tough it is, sometimes, for these younger generations. I’m sure you’ve heard it or encountered it, Millennials and Post-Millennials being criticized, maligned, or blamed by we older citizens for all kinds of perceived shortcomings, errors, behaviors and perspectives. Yet it’s of course highly likely that we ourselves, whether Baby Boomers or Gen-Exers, have relatives who are indeed M’s and P-M’s! …
They are our kids and grandkids, nieces and nephews, and we love them, don’t we? More than that, in our loving and knowing these cherished loved ones, we recognize as well that the stereotypes often bandied about don’t really apply, aren’t really relevant. For our kids or nieces/nephews are bright, morally centred, motivated, caring, friendly, etc.! Sort of like we may have been at their age (when society’s grumps complained about our hair, choice of music, lack of respect, general laziness, etc.?)
I’ve been in ministry 26 years, have served 7 churches, both United and Presbyterian, and at every church the same lament was anguished over time and time again – how do we get more young people in the church? Always a challenge, particularly now in an era of vast transformation and change, and yet to what extent do we design what we do, how we worship, how we welcome and engage with young folks, with M’s and P-M’s in mind? I visited an Evangelical church in NW Calgary a few years back – Kensington Commons Church. It’s packed for all 4 Sunday services with mostly M’s and P’M’s. Same goes for Hillhurst United. Vastly different theologies and worship styles are represented by those 2 congregations, but they’re doing it. Connecting with those younger generations in meaningful ways, not complaining about them. What about us?
Food for thought? Go, Bianca, go!!
Grace and Peace.
“Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’”
– MARK 9:33-37