Hitler, Lenin, Jesus and children

We need that generation of young people who began to reach political maturity in the midst of a disciplined and desperate struggle against the bourgeoisie. In this struggle that generation is training genuine Communists; it must subordinate to this struggle, and link up with it, each step in its studies, education, and training.

— V.I. Lenin, Tasks of the Youth Leagues (Bourgeois and Communist Morality)i

These boys and girls enter our organizations [at] ten years of age, and often for the first time get a little fresh air; after four years of the Young Folk they go on to the Hitler Youth, where we have them for another four years…And even if they are still not complete National Socialists, they go to Labor Service and are smoothed out there for another six, seven months…And whatever class consciousness or social status might still be left…the Wehrmacht [German armed forces] will take care of that.

— Adolf Hitler (1938)ii

Let the children come to me and do not stop them because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

— Jesus of Nazareth

I thought I would open this segment with references attributed to Lenin and Hitler and the important place children and youth have played in maintaining and perpetuating their ideologies. Jesus’ famous statement indicates the important role children have in the kingdom of God. A question which flows on from these is how important an emphasis do we, as a church, place on ministry to children and youth?

Our situation at Hoppers Crossing UCA is rather interesting, in that, compared to previous parishes I’ve ministered in, there is an abundance of children, young people and families. It only follows that these be significant focuses of our mission and ministry and the need to give serious emphasis to their formation in faith, that is, the Christian faith.

The abilities, gifts and talents of our HX Impact Youth were on display during the service last Sunday as they sang, danced and shared their reflections of their recent camp. Today is Children’s Sunday a.k.a ‘White Sunday’ service in which the Sunday school children will conduct the service with songs, plays and scripture memorisation. This service will follow on after our regular Sunday morning service and we hope you can stay to attend to watch and support the children do their thing. Our inaugural Messy Church will be held on Sunday 15 October and is an exciting new ministry of this congregation to connect with the children and families of our community.

However, let’s not rest on our laurels, for time, labour and resources are all required to be invested into them if there is to be longevity and consistency of programming and perpetuity of discipleship building into the future. Our commitment to children and young people is evident in our commitment to abide by the Keeping Children Safe policies of our UCA, so it is important that you have a Working With Children Check (WWCC) if you desire to work with children and young people. We have a Culture of Safety Officer, Mrs Tricia Cox whose role it is to ensure we are up to date with all Keeping Children Safe- Safe Church policies and that we are abiding by them. We need volunteer’s, helpers, supporters to assist in these exciting new ministry and mission programs. So, my challenge to you is to seek ways you can support in any way you can, whether by prayer and/or giving of your time and resources. In short, get involved!

Because of Jesus.

i http://blogs.bu.edu/guidedhistory/russia-and-its-empires/elise-alexander/

ii https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007820