Submitted by Anita Betts, Communications Coordinator
||Photo courtesy of Haven Chapel UMC
Every third Sunday at Haven Chapel UMC, under the leadership of Rev. Marjorie Walker, the children and youth lead the service, except for the message. But on October 16th, the congregation observed Children's Sabbath, and the children and youth were in charge of the entire service, even the message! The Sanctuary was beautifully decorated to let people know that this day was all about God's children. Members of the Haven Chapel gave a special thanks to Avis Wilkins for the decorations.
After the candles had been lit, Jimmyia Smith, liturgist, welcomed everyone with a warm greeting and a smile. Aaliyah Stewart read the meaning of Children's Sabbath, followed by a clarinet selection, "Amazing Grace" from Chelsi Stewart and a gospel reading (Mark 10:13-16) by Hollie Moore III. Witnesses were blessed with a sweet song by the Children's Choir singing "Everybody Ought to Know Who Jesus Is." The soloists we Camilla and Danielle Barksdale. Carly Barksdale, Erianna Anthony, and Miya Osbourne also sang.
After the offering had been taken up by our youth (Tyqon Billups, Jordan Falconer, and Hollie Moore III), there was a special prayer litany and candle lighting led by Jimmyia Smith, "We light this candle today for children killed by guns, violence...We light this candle today for all the adults who work for laws to make guns hard to buy...."
The morning prayer was led by Jeremy Falconer. The youth and children sang "God's Got a Blessing" (soloists were Jordan Falconer and Ethan Wright) followed by a musical step dance from Haven Chapel's Steppers, Jeremiah Anthony, Jordan Falconer, Hollie Moore III, Marquez McClendon, Willie Pickett, and Ethan Wright.
The service culminated with a powerful message from Jayla R. Smith titled, "God's Got This." It was short, sweet, and to the point. She summed it up by saying, "...with all the gun violence, killings...you don't have to worry because God's got your back."
Haven Chapel extends appreciation for the children and youth leaders, Carol Falconer, Cathy Jones, Rhonda Smith, and Dawn Wright; pianist, Shelia Walker and the parents and guardians who make it a priority to bring their children to rehearsal. The Rev. Marjorie Walker and all of the behind-the-scene workers are recognized for their support as well.