Children and Youth Ministry Update from Rev. Francesca Fortunato

January 17th,2020 Categories: Latest News
Dear Park People,
On Sunday January 12th, we read the account (from Mark’s gospel) of Jesus healing the daughter of Jairus, the synagogue leader’s daughter. We discussed how important children were, to Jesus, and the strong faith that came through, in healing a little girl who appeared to be dead! Using this story as a segue, we thought about the children at Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, who suffer from serious, life-threatening illness, and, how helping them is a good way to follow Jesus. For our creative response, we did a brainstorming session, using pictures as well as words, to generate ideas for the craft fair to benefit Saint Jude’s. I asked the children to think of things that they would enjoy making, and that people would want to buy. Some ideas were more realistic than others (we probably won’t be able to “make a phone,” as much as people love their phones) but all were imaginative, and, in some cases, quite surprising. I was especially delighted by the suggestion that we make and sell ‘zines. I hadn’t realized that ‘zines (small, hand-made, paper-and-staple magazines, for the uninitiated) were still a thing. During the “Zine Scene” heyday of the early 1990s, I was a frequent contributor to ‘zines, and, briefly, published one of my own, called “The Holy Fool.” Anyway, we generated lots of wonderful craft ideas, most of which are realistic, so, I plan to get right on with the task of acquiring all of the supplies we’ll need, to make cool stuff!

On Sunday January 19th, we’ll be reading Matthew 17:14-21 (in which Jesus heals a child who has Epilepsy). We’ll be discussing healing prayer; why we pray for people who are sick, and how to do it in the most meaningful ways, for us, and for them (prayer is not “one size fits all!”) As a creative spiritual exercise, we will be drawing pictures of people we know, who need healing, in which they look healthy and happy! This visual-art-as-prayer, will be a way of focusing our love and attention on those people, and beginning to hone those gifts of healing prayer, which God gives to everyone.

May all of us envision healing, for ourselves, our loved ones, and for the world, in our day.

Blessings and well wishes as always,
Rev. Francesca Maria (Miriam): Children’s Minister