The Boykin family has been starting new school years since around 1990 when Dane started 4 year old Kindergarten. That's 25 years worth of "the first day of school" celebrations. This year Griff is a senior in high school so in a real way it marks the end of an era for us. There are the mixed emotions of sentimental sadness and optimistic joy. It's sad to see that our babies are growing up! But it's exciting to see that our babies are growing up! Of course there are still several years of college left among the boys - Cobi is a senior at Covenant this year, Tanner will be a sophomore at Covenant, and who knows what or where Griff will end up during his college years. We've seen a lot of change in the Boykin family over these past 25 years and don't expect anything different anytime soon.
As I approach my 30th year here at Community (started in 1986) I've also seen a lot of change here at CPC. Recent change has seen Paige step down from her 6 year tenure of ministry leadership as our Children's Ministry Director. Stokes' departure at the end of this month will be another major change for our church family. It marks the end of a 10 year era of his service as our youth and music leader. And for me, again, it's a time of sadness and joy. I'm sad to see such phenomenally gifted people leave our staff. I'm sad to see good friends leave Community. But if I even remotely believe any of this stuff that I get up and preach on every week I must have some sense of joy as well. The joy isn't that Paige stepped down or that the Skellie family is moving or that we get to experience change ... rather it's that we as a church (and I personally) will get to taste of God's sweet grace as we patiently wait before Him in faith, trusting whatever His strong hand of providence is working out, knowing it's ultimately for our good and His own glory, and then resting in His sufficiency during this season of transition. That's where we'll find joy.
When September rolls around Community Church will definitely be entering a new era. There will be some big ministry holes to fill with children, youth, and music. We're already seeing how difficult it is to replace what all Paige was doing in Children's Ministry and she was only part-time. Youth and music will be just as, if not more, difficult to keep going. Surely God is calling each of us to examine and re-examine our commitment to, participation in, and passion for the ministry of Community Presbyterian Church. It's going to take a church-wide effort to not just maintain, but actually see the scope and ministry of Community grow and expand.
And though we realize that due to this change there is much hard work for all of us to do, we also remember that God is good ... His grace is sufficient ... His plan can be trusted ... His Spirit is powerful ... He loves His church ... our inheritance remains intact ... He remains our true joy ... He hears our prayers ... He doesn't change ... our hope isn't diminished ... His promises are all true ... His covenant with us still stands.
Do we know exactly what things will look like in September? Nope. When Anita and I first started dating back in college she had this little stone plaque thingy on her desk that read, "I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow." This must be our posture as we tackle this new season of life here at Community. Let's work together in faith and see what the Lord does! (Thank for you taking the time to read this ... I essentially wrote it for myself.)
This Sunday Quinn will be preaching from 1 Samuel 10. Prayerfully read this passage and come hear about Saul being proclaimed as king of Israel.