Tonight is “Yuri’s Night.” There are actually parties organized around the world to celebrate the first human flight ever into space. On this day in 1961 space, Yuri Gagarin and on this day in 1981 the first space shuttle was launched.  So believe it or not, there are celebrations to mark Yuri’s accomplishment.

So what did you do tonight to mark the moment? How did you celebrate Yuri’s Night? I looked up at the sky at one point and it is still there. That was my effort in a nutshell. I had a good night before mt big Yuri’s night celebration.

Tonight was a Baptismal Prep Class at the church. We have a dozen baptisms coming up in the next 8-10 weeks. The church continues to grow. Tonight I got to know little Lauren Brady a little better.  Lauren is three and she is so full of life and laughter she is great. She was taken on Sunday when she was at the church with the stained glass window of the crucifixion. She questioned her mom and her grandmother about the man “up there on the woods.”  She said “he did not look good.” This little girl has such a great sense of question and a great need to know about the images that surround her.  He family answered well her questions by pointing out the window of the resurrection and she felt good about the explanation that Jesus is OK now. But tonight Lauren came with the same questions and I did my best to answer them for her. I am convinced that I did not fully satisfy her need to know. Yet I was a better person tonight having had a chat with Lauren.  I hope she continues to ask questions about the images of our faith. She is no doubt in a questioning mode. I was thrilled to see God working in her tonight. In a few weeks Lauren will be baptized and I am excited to work toward that time because she is so excited about “the story.” It will be a thrill to take time to invite her into the midst of the family of God knowing that she is budding in faith.  For me it really felt like tonight was Lauren’s night – Not Yuri’s Night at all. Thanks Lauren for a great visit.

Yuri’s words before lift off were Let’s Go! I think that baptism is kind of like that. We bring people into the community with this great sacrament and when we do we send them into the world to do God’ work. They are sent into the great unknown in a way and they are in many cases boldly do that which no person may have done before. We baptism Lauren and we baptism her 12 friends in the next couple of months and essentially we say – LET’S GO! Let’s Go and be and seek Christ in all persons. Let’s Go and do Justice and build peace. Let’s Go and find dignity for all people. 

Below is video montage of Yuri’s Flight!!!