Start guiding Class of 2026 right now


By Rev. Michelle Foster
Conference Staff

It happened Sunday at church. I was busily making my way from my children’s Sunday school class to my own when a friend caught my attention. She was standing in the large fellowship space with her arms cradling her beautiful baby girl.

Immediately, I made my way over to her, and in my arms she placed the most wonderful and precious gift of life. This little girl, only 3-4 weeks old, had a head full of dark black hair, skin as soft as rose petals and was sucking ever so gently on her “I love Daddy” pacifier. I rubbed her soft, tiny hands and admired the fullness in her cheeks. For just a few moments, all the world seemed just right. 

As I held this little girl and thought of all of life that awaits her, I was again reminded of the monumental responsibilities that we have as a people of God to care for all the children of God.

Children born between Sept. 1, 2007, and Aug. 30 will make up the high school graduating class of 2026. This tiny little infant will be a part of that class. What will we do to ensure that she and others just like her will experience and know the love of God? How will we participate in changing the world to make it a better place for these children as they grow and develop? As we begin a new year, I invite you to consider the ways you may make a difference in the lives of children in your own family and community and in our state.

• Will you participate in becoming more “green” so the environment and air quality will be safe for children to run and play?

• Will you volunteer in your church nursery to rock the babies and share with their parents the love of Christ?

• Will you advocate for children and public education in the political arenas of our state?

• Will you model the unconditional love of God in your everyday interactions with children that surround you? (Even the ones that seem difficult to love?)

• Will you work to make your church safe in every way for the children?

• Will you find ways to support new parents and families in the daily stresses of life?

• Will you teach and share the Christian story and the sacraments of our faith with these children and their families?

This precious little girl and all the babies being born throughout our state right now will make up the growing class of 2026. What will we offer to them through our nurture, our example, our teaching and our ways of life in community?

Jesus took and placed a little child on his knee. Looking at his disciples he said, “For to such as these belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Our responsibility is great, but so is the privilege of being a child of God! I look forward to partnering with you in changing our communities and making our world a better place for the children of 2026!

Foster serves on the conference staff.