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Trinity endorses teenage drivers with ‘Sharing of the Keys’

These teenagers at Trinity Baptist Church will be honored during Sharing of the Keys. (CONTRIBUTED)
These teenagers at Trinity Baptist Church will be honored during Sharing of the Keys. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – “Sharing of the Keys” at Trinity Baptist Church uniquely recognizes and encourages teenage drivers in the congregation.

Since 1998, Trinity has observed this “rite of passage” to celebrate with 16-year-olds who will receive their driver’s licenses, youth and college minister Teresa Bowers said. “I’m grateful to those parents and youth leaders who saw the event’s significance for both our youth and church.”

Sharing of the Keys focuses on the new responsibility of driving a car, along with the church family’s commitment to mark this important event. Members pray for new drivers and their families. The mutual care and concern “marks ‘God’s kingdom’ here on earth,” Bowers said.

For 2014, the new drivers are Chase Carroll, Olivia Carroll, Amelia Copeland, Jayli Effinger, Ashley King, Jon Melton, Garrett Paschal, David Penfield, Cassie Rehage, Haley Riddle, Ben Rogers and Blake Stanley. They attend Bob Jones, James Clemens and East Limestone high schools.

A driver’s license represents “one of the few ways that our culture marks a teenager’s move into adulthood, but society’s focus tends to be on the personal freedom,” Bowers said. “We want teenagers to also understand … their families worry about their safety and the community suffers when accidents happen or mistakes are made.”

Sharing of the Keys reminds congregation members that they’re accountable to each other.

During the service, new drivers come forward to share in a litany with the congregation. The teenagers receive a key ring inscribed with Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Surprisingly, some teenagers are anxious about driving. “Many of them still carry their key rings when to college. They like the reminder their church family cares about them, even when they’re away,” Bowers said.

Trinity’s address is 1088 Hughes Road. Dr. Michael Oliver is Trinity’s senior pastor. Sunday worship is held at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.

For more information, call 256-837-9737 or visit trinitymadison.com.

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