It's not easy saying goodbye. Youth at Sammamish Hills Lutheran, Redmond, Wash., learned this when their pastor of 10 years moved to serve another congregation.
As a remembrance and to say thank you, the youth presented their pastor, Stephen Olson, with a book they created. They gave it to him during his last children's sermon.
"What do pastors do?" contains 50 drawings of the pastor, the church and the children. It also includes the youths' views about what a pastor does for a congregation (some of their messages appear on this page). "The responses reflect the love and grace Pastor Olson brought to our congregation," reports Kathy Anderson of Sammamish Hills.
The last picture in the book is a drawing of the sanctuary with the altar, cross, flowers and an empty pulpit. The message: "I'll miss you."
Youth at St. John Lutheran, Bellevue, Iowa, also found a way to look at congregational life.
The congregation's eight Sunday school classes each put together a time capsule of photographs, drawings and writings that celebrate their faith life in the year 2000. When each class reaches its senior year in high school, its capsule will be opened so parishioners can see how the youth viewed life at St. John.
The first capsule will be opened in 2006 and the last in 2015.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers