• Education Forums

If You Remember One Thing...

Cathy Portlock Pacitto
August 22, 2019

Thoughts from the Director of Children's Ministries


One of my teacher colleagues used to begin the school year with these words to the students in her Bible classes:  “If you remember one thing from being in my classroom – let it be this:  God loves you more than you can imagine, and nothing you do can change God’s enormous, unimaginable love.” 


I love that image of God – that there is nothing we can do, and nowhere we can go, to cause ourselves to be away from that extravagant, all-consuming love. 


As you’ve no doubt heard or read from our Rector, this year our program theme -- and goal -- is Known and Loved.   When my husband and I were married, we were gifted a book by Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God.  In it, Keller writes, “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”


Like a good marriage, a relationship with and within a church community takes work to build and sustain. It takes respect, time, and trust, a willingness to be vulnerable, to be able to both give and receive with grace. For us to be known and loved by one another means we must find and take time to be with one another. We must respect one another and trust one another and be willing to be vulnerable with one another. We must be willing to give and receive.


To be known and loved by God – well, in some ways, it’s a little easier. God knows us and loves us without our really having to do anything about it. That love is part of who God is: it is God’s very nature. The challenge might be for us slow down enough, to quiet our hearts and minds enough, to see it and to feel it – and ultimately, to accept it.


I am often asked what my goals are for the children I minister to and with. I do have many – I want them to be exposed to and have familiarity with the Bible, with our liturgy, with prayer. I want them to be able to participate fully in worship, to be able to sing plainchant and know our beautiful hymnody. I want them to begin to cultivate a passion for social justice and outreach. I want them to know the life of Jesus. But above all, I want them to know that they are known and loved.  That they are known and loved by their families, by their friends, by their teachers and caregivers, and above all, by God.  I want them to know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that there is nothing they can do, and nowhere they can go, that Jesus will not be with them, and that God will not love them.  I want them to know who they are...in Christ.


In a few short weeks, our church school and youth classrooms will be bustling with young people and their teachers and mentors. The adult Forum will be back in full swing. Those who have been away for part of the summer will be back “home” at Trinity.  It will be busy.  It will be exciting.  It will be a time for new possibilities – for leaning in and listening to one another and to the Spirit – to become more and more of who God intends Trinity Church in the City of Boston to be.


So, as we prepare to begin a new program year, may we be ready to grow and learn, to know and love one another, to know and love God.  May each day take us one step further into, with the Spirit, co-creating God’s beloved community, and may we know, beyond measure, how very much we are treasured by the One who makes all things new.


See you on Sunday,



Cathy Portlock Pacitto

Director of Children’s Ministries



At "Educational Forums," enrich your spiritual journey by exploring our resources including videos of lectures, essays by priests, and other pieces about our faith, our church, and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in the 21st century.