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The Future begins today…

Sunday, there was JOY in the house of the Lord as fourteen teens took an important step in faith. Those gathered at Lenape Valley that day witnessed our Genesis youth lead worship and read snippets of their faith statements. In true beginner fashion, some lines were read too quickly, and some words were lost as youth strayed from the mic. Their voices quivered and their hands shook, but their excitement was contagious. Sunday was the celebration of Pentecost, when the winds of God’s Spirit blew through the disciples into a Jerusalem crowd 2000 years ago. Luke tells us that 3000 came to faith that day. Our Pentecost on Sunday was a bit smaller but none-the-less powerful as our youth bore witness to the relationship they are finding with the God who created them. Many of our Genesis teens are like those early disciples with more questions than confidence. This year, they have learned to wonder, to express doubt, to consider the possibilities and question the impossible. On Sunday, some timidly put a toe into the waters of faith while others took a running leap into the deep end. Each step, no matter how small or grand, was welcomed and celebrated. I invite you to meet the newest disciples in the community of faith.

Jason was the Andrew of our group. When the apostle Andrew met Jesus, he immediately ran to get his brother to be sure that Simon would meet Jesus. At the beginning of the year, Jason invited four of his friends to join him on the Genesis journey. Can you imagine that conversation between a group of energetic 8 th grade boys? “Guys, how you would like to come to church every Tuesday for Bible study?” Three of the boys Jason invited come from families that barely ever darken the door of a church. Yet, their friendship is so strong that those boys came… every Tuesday… for dinner and Bible study, giving each an opportunity to hear the invitation to know Jesus. Jason wrote in his statement of faith: I think a good relationship with God is having doubts and asking questions, because then God will strengthen you to answer those questions and prove those doubts wrong.

Alex loves football. His small stature and quick reflexes make him tough to catch on the field, but Jesus certainly caught his heart this year. He claimed Philippians 4:13 as his Genesis verse. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  

Tyler found his journey in the Elijah story, hearing God’s soft whisper in sunsets.

Connor has faced a year of surgeries. He wrote in his faith statement: I believe that God works for our good, but sometimes God works slowly. Connor described how his father was there for every surgery, being the face he saw when he woke up. When I see my father’s love, I see the Father’s love.

Jack’s love of baseball stole time away from his Genesis experience, but his friends would not allow him to fade away. So, this weekend, Jack stood with his friends to claim the faith.

Karl stands head and shoulders above the crowd, literally. How fitting he found God in the mountains God created. Karl’s inquisitive mind searched for the connections between science and faith, discovering a faith journey where heart and mind meet.

Julianna is sweet and shy, yet her poetic faith statement gave a bold witness.
When my strength fails
I realize that you will prevail
When there is sorrow
You remind me that there will be light tomorrow
Charley came eager to learn, each Bible story new for this young disciple. In the ancient stories, Charley heard God’s call to her heart. She chose Eden as her Genesis name. I love that name and everything it represent: the garden of Eden, walking with God and being with Him, and harmony.

Tessa chose Thomas as her Genesis name. She tested each claim of the faith with determination to find the truth, one step at a time. She wrote: I want to have a relationship with God. I want someone to rely on when I need it. But a relationship goes 2 ways, so how can I support my end of the relationship while God continues to help me? 

Hayden loves to sing. She shines with the joy of the Lord. She writes: God has guided me through so many places in my life, and proves that He is there, by giving me a feeling of happiness. 

Emma finds God in the joys and challenges of life. I believe that God gave us free will so that we can choose things for ourselves, no matter if it’s good or bad. In a challenging test at school or success in gymnastics, Emma finds God at work in her life.

Ainsley joyfully leapt into the deep end of faith this year. She wrote: My faith is the most real when I can look at the good, the bad, and the in-between, and recognize God. It is where I see sickness and still see the joy. It is where I see death, and still see the celebration of life. It is where I see the love in the middle of a so-called “loveless world.” Ainsley answered the call to walk side-by-side with Jesus.

Abby is a thinker. She tests the waters of faith with her mind. There her doubts were met by a God who seemed to find me…. He has shown me how to think in new ways… I believe He wants to walk with me through it all. 

Marjorie won the state of Pennsylvania this year with her National History Day project on the Wannamaker store. Yet, her success in her academics paled in comparison to the step in faith she claimed this year, reminiscent of St. Paul’s Romans 8 passage. She writes: I am sure Jesus died on the cross to save me… I believe God is an amazing listener… I am sure that He has never left me and never will.  

These Genesis teens are not just our future, they are the present strength of our church. Their bold step in faith on Sunday is just the beginning. Their witness encourages our next steps.

With you, committing to pray for and walk with Genesis,
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1 Comment

Peter Gregory - May 24th, 2024 at 8:22am

I was raised in the Associate Reformed PC. ARPC A smaller denomination located primarily in the Carolinas and Virginia now. Our process for confirmation was a 3 year program ages 13 to 17 or abouts. What was called “Covenanting “. The program was to pare the teen with a church Elder for 3 years. Expectation was you would go over their house. Have dinner hang out. The elder became the spiritual mentor or guide. Outside of memorizing the Westminster Confession there was no other program or structure given. You and mentor were free to go where the process would go. At 17 you came before the Elders and examined and came into formal church membership with all the rights and responsibilities. At 18 I was ordained an Elder at 20 I was licensed to preach. ARPC polity allows such


n Point being at a young age we were given responsibility and care and trust to lead to be active in the life of the church. My mentor Mr Wilson was a Navy WW2 vet. Battle of Midway. He is the reason I chose that path for a career. And he is the reason I am a Christian. Not my parents or my church . For those who lament the future of the faith or the church. Just look up the next generation is there always was. Only question is do you trust them to lead. Do you give up some of your power to them? And allow them to take the church where God always intended. Thank you Mr Wilson and God bless your soul and service to God and country