Mary Clare Bracey reflects on her education at Covenant

Thirty years ago, some of you in this congregation answered the call at my baptism to tell me the good news of the gospel, help me understand all of Christ’s commands and, by your fellowship, strengthen my family ties with the household of God.

I like to think that you started to weave a tether that would always connect me to you.

There were many weavers throughout the years:

  • Sunday School teachers who sung me the books of the Bible;
  • choir mothers who rehearsed Once in Royal David’s City;
  • Quest Councils and Youth Group leaders who slept on gym floors, and in even less glamorous un-air-conditioned accommodations.

The last time I stood in this position, I gave a senior sermon at Youth Sunday. That day, you began to let out the slack in the tether. With confidence, you sent me away to college.

Sometimes you would test the tether to make sure I knew you still loved me with a card from my Secret Saint. You even sent guardians -- in the form of older members of my youth group -- who ensured that I passed chemistry, figured out my meal plan, and never let me forget I was loved just for who I was.

After college, you pulled in the slack as my journey brought me back to Charlotte, but you let me have space to grow and develop. And then a year ago, you reeled in the line and, through an unexpected event, I found myself being a chaperone at the senior high school kickoff retreat. It was during that weekend when I realized that I was being called to begin to weave the tethers of our high school students.

Working with the youth has been in the simplest of words: fun. The youth group gives these kids the space to learn, to doubt, to be silly, to build relationships, to teach and, most importantly, to be loved. And as I have assumed my new role as weaver, I have realized that the love in each of the strands is really God’s love shown through me to his children.

So I invite you to be a weaver with me to the smallest child, to the high school student and to one another. On Sunday, Oct. 23, we’ll join together on Commitment Sunday and weave the tether through us and our community at Covenant Impacts Charlotte. Thank you.