There are four elements to each Milestone event: naming, equipping, blessing and gifting. We begin by naming the sacred and ordinary events that we recognize in the daily life of the individuals and households. They are our beginnings, ending, transitions, achievements, failures and rites of passage. We recognize them as our rituals and traditions that shape our identities and give us a sense of belonging to the family of God. Equipping brings the generations together. It builds community, invites conversation, encourages storytelling and provides information. By blessing the individual, and marking the significant occasions in a worship service, we are declaring God’s presence in meaningful ways. Gifting is a tangible item that serves as a reminder or symbol of the occasion being marked, as well as resource for the ongoing nurture of faith in daily life.
Our Milestones celebrate back-to-school, welcoming nursery graduates to Sunday School, learning the Beatitudes and Lord's prayer, baptism, middle school image struggles, being good stewards of our finances and being able to read. Many moments in life are opportunities to claim God’s redeeming and renewing work in the world and in our lives. These moments recognize children and youth in all situations, blesses them, is a physical sign and gift to them, and it weaves our stories with God’s story.
We begin our Sunday School year with the Blessing of the Backpacks Milestone. We invite students and educators to bring their backpack to church so it can be blessed and have a bag tag added to their backpack. This blessing comes with a reminder to our children of God's daily presence in their lives and the fact that their church family will be praying for them throughout the school year.
If you are in Scottsdale, please join us for this celebration on Sunday, August 17th at both services. It is so special to wish these precious learners a growth-filled year!