Youth Sunday: June 7, 2015
Preacher: River MacLeod, Graduating High School Senior
Hi. My name is River, though many of you know me as Joana. I moved to New York City and to St. Michaels when I was seven, and since then, so many of you have watched me grow up.
My earliest memory of St. Michaels is of Rose, who was at that time the beloved director of the youth choirs, showing me around. At that time in my life I was painfully shy, and as a stranger to this community, I was terrified.
Even so, it didn’t take me that long to become part of this family, and today I have so many more, beautiful memories of St. Michael’s. There were the Wednesday night bistros that were so full of silliness. Thinking of those nights still makes me smile. The choir tour to Oxford where we went singing down the streets, bought Harry Potter ties, and shocked a bunch of British people with our rendition of “Ride the Chariot.” The operas, to which I devoted so much time and love (though what I contributed was nothing compared to Jonathan and Katie and all the countless others who made them possible). I both loved those operas and learned so much from them. More recently I’ve been helping with the Word Made Young, and Andrea and all those kids have given me so many new memories of this parish. And, while this isn’t a specific memory, perhaps the most important thing I will remember from St. Michael’s is the all the love I have experienced in this community. There are so many people here who have supported me and cared about me through my growth and through difficult experiences. Thank you all for being there for me. I have all these beautiful memories, and I’m sure that I will bring them with me to college and wherever I may go after that.
I’d like to finish this sermon or whatever it is with a blessing that’s very close to my heart. Originally I was going to sing it but today I found out that the choirs are going to sing it together, so you all can wait for that song until the end. Anyway this isn’t goodbye forever but a few words to say farewell for now.