Sunday, March 22, 2015

03-22-15 Our Church Family

I was first introduced to Grace Brethren Church of Calvert County when I was a freshman in high school. I had just started homeschooling and a friend invited me. I was incredibly nervous, but jumped in with both feet and got involved immediately. I went to every youth group activity and class. I was mesmorized by the active and vibrant youth group. Here were teens that weren't afraid or ashamed of their faith and they welcomed me in. It didn't take long for me to find my footing and soon I felt at home. I developed deep and long lasting friendships. I even met my husband. (In fact, a great many marriages came out of that youth group.) 

My first year at youth conference was a life changing experience for me. I had never been around such enthusiasm for Christ and it really created a foundation for my faith. 

When I moved to NYC for college, I purposed to get involved with a group of believers. After a few weeks of searching, I landed at Tim Keller's church, Redeemer Presbytarian, and Sundays quickly became my favorite day. I also started attending Campus Crusade for Christ at NYU and became a small group leader. Finding those pockets of believers transformed New York from a vast sea of strangers to a close knit community. 

Had it not been for the faith that had been cultivated by GBC and encouraged at Redeemer, the events of September 11th and my proximity to them would have had even greater negative impacts in my life. The anxiety and PTSD that extended from that experience would have been even more crippling had I not known that I had a Savior that had already redeemed me and was working all things for good. 

When I returned to Maryland after college I once again became involved at GBC and have been there ever since. In 2006 (I think) I finally became a member. I was married in that church building, and have dedicated my children there. Some of the most pivotal moments of my life have happened within those walls and with the church (the people). 

Two years ago when our pastor announced he was ready to retire I wondered how the transition would go. This evening we got to vote for the pastoral candidate. In an amazing show of almost complete solidarity, the church membership voted 199 to 8 for Pastor Dario. It was such a wonderful experience to see the church body so involved and excited during a time that could have been rocky and precarious. It has confirmed to me again that we are involved with an amazing group of believers and that God is still very much at work in our lives individually and as a church. 

I am very excited to see where God leads us during this time and my prayers are for Pastor Dario and Susie, and Pastor Wagner and Diana as they make this transition. God Bless!