To celebrate FSBC's 175th anniversary, our May 21st, 2023 worship service comprised of four different meditations from minister and church members alike. Below is part three of our anniversary celebration from our Chair of Deacons, Madeline Brewer.
I need to admit something to you all. When I was a teenager growing up in this church I was very jealous of my friends who went to other churches. They had youth groups with twenty plus people in them whereas I had six in mine (on a good day) and I was related to half of them.
But here, at Freemason Street, I came to realize I had something they didn’t have. I had adults who knew me personally and cared about me. I wasn’t one random teenager in a sea of teenagers to them. I was my own person. I was my own unique person and I was known and loved. I had adults who’d take me on a shopping spree at Barnes and Noble. Who’d take me to see Firebird because they had an extra ticket and would teach me sidewalk etiquette on the way. Adults who’d share their stories with me.
And that’s one of the many beautiful things about this church. It’s that we care about and will do anything for the children that we have in this congregation. It doesn’t matter how many or how few we have. They will show up and be there for any child finds themselves here. They’ll invite the youth into their home and make homemade tiramisu. They’ll move heaven and earth to make sure their one youth that can go to camp is able to go and experience it. They create elaborate Sunday School lessons that are set up for as many children as possible and are still happy to have one on one time with the one child who showed up. They share the stories of this congregation so our children will know that in their most challenging and difficult and heartbreaking moments they will have a community that will hold them up and cover them with love and support and care.
This church creates and saves space for the children of Freemason Street. They ensure the children know they are integral to the live of this church. They communicate and demonstrate their love and care for the whole child. Whoever they become. Kids are an unknown entity. We can all have our dreams and ideas and imaginings of who our children are going to be. But we never know. And because we never know who our children will become, we choose to love and welcome and affirm their whole person; whoever God placed them on this earth to become. We choose to love all of God’s children.
I make the active choice to raise my child here because I know she will be loved and cared for and welcomed in this church for whoever she becomes. Because here she is cherished for her whole-self as a child of God. A love that is not contingent on what she looks like or how her appearance may drastically change or who she finds herself loving.
I’m glad my parents chose to raise me here in this congregation. Because I was able to witness firsthand a congregation that is willing to reconsider their thinking when confronted with new information or viewpoints. A congregation that is not static. A congregation that grows and evolves. A congregation willing to grapple with the difficult questions. A congregation willing to say their previous views were flawed. A congregation who loves and accepts and affirms all of God’s children for who they are.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of this space and community. Thank you for the people past and present who have loved us like you love us. Who strive daily to ensure we feel your love and support and guidance. Thank you for giving us the ability to reflect, change, and grow as people and as a church. Amen.