Yesterday, Sunday June 12, our church conducted one of the most awesome and beautiful services I've ever witnessed. It was our first "Rite of Passage" Ceremony in which 15 of our youth (ages 16-18+) publicly acknowledged before God and our congregation their desire to be willing to conduct their lives as godly young men and and women, asking not only their Lord but also all of us assembled to help them maintain that goal. Each young person then received a public "Parental Blessing" in which one of each of their parents came forward to tell their child how much they meant to them, their love for them, and a challenge to maintain a Biblical standard of holy living every day of their lives. Following that, each of the men of the congregation stood and read aloud to the young men Romans 12:1--"We beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice. holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." To that the young men responded by pledging Romans 12:2--"By God's grace we will not be conformed to this world, but will be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Then each of the ladies of the church stood and read aloud to the young women Hebrews 11:1,35--"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. By faith women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection." To which each of the young women responded with Hebrews 12:1-2a--"We also, being surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, will lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensares us, and will run with endurance the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." This was followed by a short charge to these new Adults by our pastor to continue on in the things they had learned from the Scriptures. Then, by our student ministries elder, a charge to the church: That as a body we uplift these young people in our prayers, encourage them by our words, and love them with the self-sacrificing love of Jesus who gave His life for them. By the conclusion of this public ceremony, there was not a dry eye to be found in our midst. May God bless each of them, and each young person who reads this.