"Honestly, I have a problem with Christians sometimes. Some of them are self-righteous and judgmental. But no one here is like that. You have taught me that Christians can be cool people, and that's what I like about this church."
I asked the graduating high school seniors to say a few words about what they're doing next year and something about their faith or what they appreciate about being part of our congregation. I didn't know what I was in for--how honest, how profound, how important their words would be. I'm not surprised that these words came from the person who said them, but again I sat in awe that I get to be part of something as life-changing as this--this congregation, these words, these people.
Honestly, this is why I stay. Despite other bad, cruel, hateful words that come from parishioners sometimes (fortunately, not my own, but *somebody* has to deal with those people at the microphones at synod assembly!), here we stay, because one young person who "gets it", as this one does, is worth all the days of wondering if anything's getting through. God must know when I need to hear this message, for She always sends an angel in the form of a young adult to remind me that this church is messy, but it's our church and it's our mess and it's worth sticking around to see how God will clean it up.
So thanks to all of you who remind me that we're in this together, and that this church is a good place to be when we remember who else is here, and thanks for leading such interesting lives that I enjoy being part of. You know who you are, and YOU ROCK. And together, we are the church, and we're cool.