Dear Grace Community,
At her birth, our daughter Alice joined one of the more exclusive groups at Grace. It’s a group that includes Brian Whepley, Laurie Mulford, Will Snook, and me, to name a few. We’re all PK’s, Preacher’s Kids. At my latest count, there are around 11 of us in the congregation.
Being a PK is interesting. There are only a few other jobs that involve taking your child to work as much as this one does. I was fortunate to have a mostly positive experience as a PK. I loved how well I knew the church: where all the rooms, closets and hallways were. I loved running up and down those hallways when no one else was in the building. I loved how awe inspiring and spooky the sanctuary seemed late in the afternoon when the lights were out, and it was empty of people. I felt like I should whisper, and yet I wanted to shout and hear my voice echo.
I remember the time when I made it clear to my dad that he was to never talk about me in a sermon again unless he had my explicit permission. I was in fifth grade, and he referenced something a young person had said to him about the new movie Batman. I was the young person, and as people commented to me after worship that they figured it was me, I became livid. This doesn’t seem like a big thing now, but to me at age 11 it was. I have to remember that what may not be a big deal to me might be a big deal to Alice, and I will be careful about how I talk about her at church and in worship, though I’m sure I will make her livid at some point.
The best thing about being a PK is how loved I was by people in the congregation. We did not live near family, and so church members were surrogate great aunts and uncles and cousins. They took a genuine interest in me. One of those women, Jocelyn, now lives in Georgia. Jocelyn, who knew me when I was three, served on my ordination commission when I was 30. Church connections last.
I have a few requests of you regarding your interactions with my PK. First, never stop showing her God’s love. Alice was baptized in May, and you promised to help raise her in the Christian faith. Make sure she knows that God loves her, no matter what. Show her the love of Christ by the way you treat her and each other. Show her this through the ways you serve.
Second, cut her some slack. That’s easy to say now when she’s three months old, but the day will come when she’s rude or runs down the hall loudly on a Sunday morning. If she needs redirecting, do it gently. Remember that I work here – she doesn’t, and some days she may not want to be here. Finally, be careful of what she hears you say about me. There will be times when you get frustrated or upset with me, and that’s fine, but she doesn’t need that stress.
John and I are grateful that you are helping us raise Alice in the faith. Growing up can be lots of fun, and it can be hard. We need all the help we can get in making sure Alice knows that she is God’s child.