This month we also dedicated Connor in our church. Like Evan before him, this required we write a statement to be read during the service. Thanks to our friends, Mary and Aaron, for presenting Connor, and to Tony, who read our words:
"Connor arrived on September 17th, perfect and healthy…and surprisingly quiet for an O’Neil boy. Even though we had struggled for nine months to find the perfect name, when he finally appeared we still hadn’t decided. Dan simply announced on Facebook, “His name shall be forthcoming.” Well, thanks to a few witty friends, for two days that’s what he was called – Forthcoming O’Neil. We ultimately settled on the name Connor, which means, “much-desired” and “strong-willed.” And it’s a fitting name for an Irish lad.
In choosing the middle name Joseph, we held to our tradition to honor someone who was significant in our lives. We chose Joseph because it is a family name and the name of Dan’s godfather. Plus, six years ago when our oldest son was born, a certain member of Highland’s ministerial staff suggested it would make a fine name. We kept Joseph in the hopper and this time it fit perfectly, honoring a dear friend and beloved mentor. As one of Jennifer’s many baby naming books put it, “Who doesn’t love a boy named Joe?” or in our case, Connor Joe.
Our prayer as his parents is that we can provide a solid spiritual foundation for Connor, leading by example the gospel command of love and service to God and to neighbor. We want him to know that he is a blessed child of God, and importantly that he is called to be a blessing to others.
It is fitting that the work on the church renovations began shortly before Connor was born and will soon be completed, as he will be among the first group of children to learn and be shaped in this transformed space. He may never fully know the dreams, efforts, and commitment of so many that went into this undertaking, but he will experience their selfless love as he joins other children to learn the stories and sing the songs of Jesus. We hope that you will help us teach him, show him, and be an example of what it means to be, and live, as a follower of Christ."