Jamie Blount, Daniel King, Allison Porter
This is higher than it looks….I always wondered what this would feel like. I have to say, presenting my homily is a little intimidating, following in the footsteps of so many amazing past seniors. I think it’s important to note that I, literally, grew UP in this church. My growth as a Christian has a very special catalyst: music. Music is one of the first things I remember being involved with at Trinity. My experience as a musician started in the children’s choir of this church and singing Hymns before Sunday school. It was love at first note. Mrs. Arant and Dr. Pfeiffer worked masterfully to facilitate this love, but they didn’t have to work hard. However, Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Rowe, my first Sunday school teachers, DID have to work hard to keep me in check…I was, as my mother says, “unpredictable” (That is also the reason for our family’s initial pew choice in the sanctuary). But something that was never unpredictable about Trinity was the quality of the Sunday school education I received. An education implemented by committed Sunday school teachers like Mr. Tappy and Ms. Lambert, Mrs. Stone, Mrs. Smolen, Mr. Massey and all the youth leaders, headed up by Miss Katherine and Mr. Brent, just to name a few. These leaders taught me about God’s word in a way that made it apparent to my life, and continues to do so. God was in parables, and history, and biology and in me, in ways that I still struggle to comprehend, but am thankful for nonetheless. Everyday life can be very unforgiving, but I’ve always found being in the company of my friends and learning with others about the unending extent of God’s role in our lives to be refreshing.
During middle school, I began to take piano lessons under the patient tutelage of Mrs. Arant. I may not have practiced as much as I should have, but I left each lesson feeling better than when I arrived. Those lessons taught me that no matter how much life may bring you down, God is always present, but only if we make the effort to look and are open to receiving his goodness. Music, especially music through worship, was and is one way I keep God present. There’s a universality to music that no other medium can quite touch, and I think that, is for a reason.
Music is particularly moving when serving as a crucifer or an acolyte. By serving with my friends and being an integral part of the congregations worship as an acolyte, I have been brought even closer to God. I cherish each and every one of the conversations I’ve had with my fellow acolytes in the changing room, just behind me. God gave us a place to converse with each other, ranting about school or sharing excitement for a Panthers win. But there was a unified understanding at the importance of our work in our congregation’s, and our own, spiritual journey in making God more and more a part of our lives.
Another extremely important way that God remains present in my life, is with Philips Academy. Helping Philip become an independent contributor to our world is very important to me, and I do everything I can to help him, even if we get frustrated with one another sometimes. But I think we’ve got it a little better than Cain and Abel. The ability of Philips Academy to provide Philip with the education and opportunities to become independent is remarkable, but for Trinity to facilitate this kind of caring atmosphere means so much. My pride in seeing Philip in his various work uniforms comes hand in hand with my love and appreciation for the Trinity community, and I am in awe of God’s infinite presence. Every time I come to worship here, every time I play for Youth Sunday, every time I hum, sing, whatever it is, God is always there. Even when an exam is right around the corner, or I have a report to turn in, or get a concussion or make my college decision, the community of Trinity has always been there, friendly and ready to listen. It’s a support that I didn’t have to ask for, or necessarily deserve, but received anyway, through the grace of God. I will be headed to Chapel Hill in the fall and know God and Trinity will be with me each day to guide and support me.