Are you concerned about our Episcopal youth and their commitment to be the light of Christ? Worry no more.
Recently, a classmate of the St. Stephen's youth in Brewton, Alabama, died from Sickle Cell Anemia. Devontay was a ninth grader at T.S. Miller High School and had been in school with our youth most of his short life. He had been ill for much of that time.
Each Wednesday evening, two confirmed mentors and our four confirmation candidates share dinner and study for confirmation. One such evening, several teens from the youth group came directly from the visitation at the funeral home. They asked me if I would attend the funeral with them the next day, and I did. The following Wednesday evening they asked what they could do to help Devontay's mother. I spoke with her and she told me she needed help paying for his headstone. I asked the youth if they would take on that task, to be the light to his mother and pay for the headstone. They were very enthusiastic about taking this on.
At the Wednesday night supper the next week, our youth waited tables for tips. They took drink orders and refilled glasses, raising $358 – more than enough to pay for the headstone for their friend.
The headstone has been ordered. When it is placed on Devontay's grave, the youth want to gather with his mother. They plan to bring flowers for the grave, and say some prayers that they are writing.
These young people ARE Christ's light in a very dark place.
The Rev. Jo P. Popham, rector of St. Stephen's, Brewton