you matter

you matter to God, to your parents and godparents, and to the gathered community to whom you are now bound

You Matter.  I came across this photo on Facebooksome time ago, and it struck a chord so I kept it.  Knowing we matter is essential for healthy human development.  We know that growing up in environments that lack sufficient social/emotional support damages not only the child, but also the adult he or she grows into.  Even with ‘healthy and loving’ homes, we humans often struggle to some degree knowing we are loved, not for what we do but simply for who we are. Over and over again, in my ministry and in my life, I see how much our desire to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we matter to someone is behind so much pain, suffering and struggle in our lives.

You Matter.  That is exactly what we affirm in baptism, as we celebrated with Maya and Benjamin, the two newest members of the Body of Christ this past Sunday:  You Matter. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, and not because of your test scores or looks, not because of your accomplishments or possessions.  You matter to God, to your parents and godparents, and to the gathered community to whom you are now bound. Since we are all human, we sometimes fall short of living out this love, this ‘matter-ing,’ and we may fail to trust in the promise.  But we come back to hear the truth that we matter again and again, even if it takes us our whole lives to come to believe it and live into that truth.  You matter. I matter. And the stranger we don’t know matters.

You Matter.  We’ve been holding small cottage meetings in parishioners’ homes to talk about how we came to be at St. Simon’s, what we love about the community and our hopes for our future together. Folks who are brand new and those who’ve been around since close to the beginning, and everyone in between, have come together—sometimes as strangers. We have left as friends or at least carrying a seed of connection with potential to blossom.  Each person has had an opportunity to express what matters to them and to know that their voice is valued.  I’m grateful to those who’ve been able to attend, and I hope that those of you who have not yet will take a moment to sign up for one of the remaining cottage meetings here. Because each one is important.  As a part of the St. Simon’s community of faith, you matter.

You Matter.  We are in the midst of Giving Season when we, as a community, talk about what makes our community strong and what will equip us to follow God’s call as faithfully and robustly as possible.  I hope you’ve received the Room at the Table brochure, and on January 24 we’ll have the opportunity to not only offer our pledges to God at the altar, but also to explore the ministries available to all of us within the community.  It is an important time to reflect on how each of us can lean in, to contribute what is meaningful to us to God and to the community as a whole.  The world around us focuses on scarcity, on lack, on what isn’t.  As Christians we are called upon to see, to claim, to live out of a profound sense of sufficiency.  No single one of us can make possible all that we dream. But together, with each of us offering what we can and what is meaningful to us, we can live into the potential we have within us, even as the tree bursts from the seed.

I hope you’ll join in celebrating our life together and claiming in new ways this season the promise that you matter.

Hope to see you Sunday!

Elizabeth Jameson
01.14.16