Caroline Noll, Associate Pastor and Pastor for Children and Families

Confirmation Class has begun!

I always look forward to this season with our students as they enter this portion of their faith journey.

This year is especially joyful because we also have youth and (very soon) adults entering their own confirmation experience.

I am thankful that our students and families carve out time from busy lives to be intentional about their life in faith.

Inevitably, some portion of each Confirmation Class involves a short vocabulary lesson.

There are words we use in church that we just don’t usually use in the rest of our lives.

In our building we have the narthex, chancel, sacristy and, of course, the one and only Schreiber Hall.

Christology, pneumatology, ecclesiology, eschatology and many other fancy -ology words.

Some I still pause to remember which is which.

Then there are the ones from our current worship series on “Grace Alone.”

Like Prevenient. Who else but Methodists use that word?

Sanctify and sanctified and sanctification.

I’m pretty sure I heard a question in staff this week about whether or not we were making up words when we conjugated that one.

And the big one for me. Five little letters. Grace. 

Grace. It’s one of those churchy words we speak every Sunday, sing in dozens of hymns, lift up in prayer.

As a kid and a youth, I had absolutely no idea what it meant.

I gathered it was a good thing and had a lot to do with God, but beyond that I didn’t know.

It seemed like everyone else knew, but I was too embarrassed to ask.

I didn’t want to seem stupid or foolish.

Back then, I couldn’t ‘google’ it.

So I just kept my eyes and ears open, hoping I would be in the right place at the right time when someone finally let me in on the secret.

So here it is, in case you’ve been wondering, too.

It’s love. God’s absolutely free gift of love. Given to you, to me, to all.

We don’t have to work for it, buy it, earn it, take it or go get it.

It’s a gift, generously and abundantly given to us by God.

No strings attached.

No strings, but an invitation. An invitation to receive this love freely given.

An invitation to let this love transform us. An invitation to let God’s love grow in us.

An invitation to move from brokenness to wholeness, from fear to freedom, from isolation to communion with God and neighbor.

May the grace of God fill you and encourage you on your journey.

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