Yesterday was Youth Sunday…for many of our church’s graduating seniors it was their last Sunday at home before leaving for college or job opportunities or military service. When I first walked in…we were given a name on a cut piece of white fabric and then asked to write our name on another. The youth had also cut out and made cardboard hearts for every congregational member attending.
The name on my strip was EMMA….and along with the strip of material was a heart. At a certain point in the service my “neighbors” (sitting on the same pew as myself) all joined our strips together tying them tightly. A youth member then came and started tying everyone’s strips of names to a hanging symbol of framily.
FRAMILY – A member of your circle who is more than a friend but not a blood relative. Combining the words friend and family. Someone very significant in your life not in your family. Joined by hearts and souls, not necessarily bloodlines.
The youth were using this word to signify their peer relationships ( after years of being together in youth groups at Dorchester Presbyterian Church, attending Montreat Presbyterian summer camps and special retreats together in the North Carolina mountains) that they had grown so close they all felt like “framily.” Framily was also expressed by the loving and supporting relationship between the church youth and the congregation.
I like this word- “framily”-it made me realize that the older I get the more I understand just how lucky we are indeed by the end of it… if we have friends as close as our own families AND if we have become close friends with our own family members. If so, then we have acquired both hearts and souls of loved ones in our lifetime.
When I looked up and recognized my youth member’s name, Emma, as she read the Confession of Sin during the service I knew I had gotten her name on my strip of cloth. The confession she read just seemed to fit where I am at the moment…so during a break in the service…I went over, told her I had gotten her name, and gave her the heart. I also asked if I could get a copy of the Confession of Sin she read.
Immediately after the service she came over and transferred it to my IPhone…we talked and she is seriously considering teaching…it made me very happy and with a hug I told her so.
So until tomorrow…I felt this confession about summed it up for me….”Remove any shortcomings so we may shine among those we meet.” At this stage in life that is what I seek more than anything. Let me get out of God’s way…and let Him use me as a vessel for His purposes.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
Luke and Chelsey brought me another delicious meal Saturday evening… homemade cooked amazing barbecue sandwich and homemade baked beans. Luke helped tie the long-stemmed sunflowers up off the ground….no doubt Luke and Chelsey are “framily.”