Kylie Ray Tesalona slid into the world nine seconds after 2017 clocked in as the new year. That made her the first baby born on U.S. soil in the new year. People on tiny Guam were ecstatic. Her parents, Mina and Allen Tesalona, considered her a miracle. Kylie’s grandparents flew all the way from the Philippines to celebrate. A local bank donated $500 for a future college fund. It seemed the entire community poured what riches and love it had into Kylie’s life. In our church in Littleton, a lovely, elderly widow sews a quilt for every baby born or adopted to our congregation. People visit and provide meals. Then some time later, we officially welcome the child into the community through the sacrament of baptism and invite the child to be loved by God through her family and the congregation. In so doing, we dedicate ourselves to lives of loving God and neighbor in […]
No living organism can grow indefinitely. Most churches slow or stop growing in years five through ten. And most go into decline around year forty.