Deborah and Matthew know well the questions we ask young children when a baby is baptized at GPPC:
Do you promise to be a friend to him? If she needs directions, will you show her the way? If he falls down, will you help to pick him up? Will you play with her and share the stories of Jesus?
They used to be among the kids who gather around the infant celebrant and promise their support. Now as teenagers in our congregation, they watch from a bit farther back with the rest of us. Still, when baby Ellie was baptized a few weeks ago, Deborah and Matthew felt moved to offer him some supportive “life advice”. They composed a list of 50 rules, entrusted to Ellie’s parents until he’s a teen himself. With gratitude to all parties involved, we share excerpts below:
Life Advice from Matthew and Deborah
* Don’t tell your friends you have gum. * Don’t feel like you have to fit the status quo or the “norm”. * Be nice to people and people will be nice back. * It’s OK to fail. * Your parents are only doing what they truly believe is best for you. * Appreciate the small stuff. * Be creative (but not overly creative because bad things will happen). * Matthew is wrong. Sometimes bad things happen, but you should express yourself the way you want. Be as creative as you feel is necessary. * I meant just don’t get so creative that you’re using blood to paint pictures, etc… * Okay, I guess that makes sense. * There are old people that are cool. * Yeah, like us – when you’re reading this, we’ll be almost 30 – but we’ll still be cool. * No means no. * Maybe usually means no. * And don’t get your hopes up with a “we’ll see”. * Don’t leave anyone out. Remember we’re all people. * Be grateful & thankful. * This is the oldest you’ve ever been – live up to it. * You have the power to change the world. This list could be for the future U.S. president. * Set morals for yourself and know what you believe in. Don’t change for anyone, no matter how important they are to you. Know that there are people that love you no matter what. Love is an essential part of life. * Live by these rules, trust us. We’ve learned that these things can make you able to do great things. Being a person is hard, but always give it your all.
We Love You.
Matthew is a “cradle” GPPCer. Deborah joined with her family 7 years ago. Both are usually on hand whenever the church doors are open. They are active members of our youth group – singing, playing, and eating together, giving community service and leading worship. Next time: reflections from another youth group member – from the 1960s.