This morning is a time of transition for us as a church family. It is Colleen Ishimaru’s last Sunday as our director of children’s ministry. She has been among us just shy of five years. Two of those years were hijacked by a pandemic. But even though life itself has been traumatic, there is one thing that has been and is always true about Colleen.
She came to us from a church position in downtown San Francisco, while living in Sacramento. Talk about a commute… But she drove into the city every weekend and served a Chinese congregation, with that Japanese last name. She hit the ground running down here in Palos Verdes, and the treadmill hasn’t stopped since she joined the team.
Colleen brought a huge heart for children. That heart has been displayed on her sleeve and has become contagious. She is focused like a laser beam on the children under her care and loves them deeply. Awana has flourished under her leadership.
But there is one thing that is and has been true about Colleen. What is that, you ask? Are you ever going to get around to letting us know what that one thing is? Well, to put it simply, she is faithful. Faithful in her walk with God. Faithful in her friendships. Faithful is communicating the truth of the Gospel to children. All children. In season and out of season, she is a champion for children.
So, as she ventures north and closer to grandchildren (she’s got #3 on the way), we shall miss her heart for children. In an email recently to those involved in Children’s Ministry she wrote, “Please, please, please continue to serve our kids and families! Don’t stop. They are our greatest treasure and need you so much. It is not for the faint of heart. It is the MOST important ministry the church endeavors – to help raise up the next generation of believers in Him.”
So now it is up to us to carry on the task of raising the next generation to love and follow Jesus. God does not call us to easy, but He calls us to be faithful. So this morning, I ask if you will join me in making sure that we carry on Colleen’s legacy of faithfulness to the next generation. The church, even Peninsula, is always just one generation away from extinction. So Children’s Ministry is not some optional activity we do to keep us busy. No. We exist to help parents raise their children to pass along the faith.
Thank you, Colleen, for all you’ve done. Some day we will gather with the Savior and swap stories of God’s faithfulness. Blessings always.