Jun 20, 2022
DEAR MENLO CHURCH,
Our church staff recently participated in a two day training on the prevention of child abuse. It was difficult material. We heard tragic stories that raised our awareness and we gained skills in recognizing and calling out abuse. We also committed to drawing a big circle of trust and safety around the kids in our lives and our ministry. The training, alongside recent tragedies, has turned my prayers to the plight of children.
The last few years have been hard for all of us, but I have renewed appreciation for the struggles young people face today. After Uvalde, some kids understandably wonder if they are safe going to school. The onslaught of comparison from social media creates angst and depression. Covid protocols have disrupted social ties and connections, which has led to isolation.
This month, we remember Juneteenth and the lasting impact of slavery that reverberates into the lives of black and brown children today. As our nation recognizes Pride month, we also acknowledge the disproportionate pain young people have experienced because of gender and sexuality.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” - Matthew 19:14
Jesus was clear about his love for kids. He told the disciples not to get in the way of their access to him. He warned them not to lead them astray or harm them—it would have serious consequences. Jesus put his hands on the children, prayed for them, and blessed them. He said the kingdom of God belongs to them, they are connected to the heart of God.
I am so grateful that our Kids Ministry at Menlo Church teaches them this truth. I think of volunteers who give hours and hours of time to make sure children know that Jesus loves them. The people that have poured into my own kids will forever have my gratitude.
Nelson Mandela famously said, “The true character of society is revealed in how it treats its children.” The bar is even higher for the church. So let’s draw a big circle around the kids in our lives and the kids in our world that suffer. May we continue to be a safe place where kids are welcomed, loved, and blessed by caring adults who represent the embrace of Jesus.
Acting Head of Staff
JOIN A SUMMER BOOK CLUB
Learn to build relationships with people who believe differently! Book Clubs will explore "The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations." Discover practices drawing from the life and ministry of Jesus. Groups meet for five weeks, June through mid-August, at different times and locations. FIND A BOOK CLUB + REGISTER
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: SERVE YOUR CITY
August 13 | Summer Serve Your City will be a chance to come together as a community for a fun and meaningful day of building food kits, with the goal of providing 275,000 meals globally. Plus, there are specific foods you can bring to help with food insecurity locally. MORE DETAILS
JUNE SENIOR PASTOR SEARCH UPDATE
Take a look at the latest news about the senior pastor search! An update from the search committee was just posted last week. Updates are posted about once a month, so make sure to check our website occasionally for the most current information.
HELP SHAPE MENLO LEADERSHIP
The search for Menlo’s leadership starts with you! Know someone who has a heart for Menlo and gifts that can help lead the spiritual, financial, and organizational health of the church? Let us know! We’re looking for new Elders to serve on Session, our church wide governing board. Nominate yourself, your neighbor, or your best friend!