Growing up we went to church as a family. I don’t remember when my Dad went with us because he stopped going when we were young. I remember Janet and I sitting on either side of my grandfather (that way we both got to sit beside him). He always kept candy in his pocket for us–werthers usually. I never really thought about why we went to this church because it was the one Mom took us too.
When we were teens we began to feel like this church wasn’t really a good fit for us. We could sense that we would never be taken seriously because we had grown up in this church (we were baptized there) and would always be looked at as kids. When we were 21 they hired a Youth Minister. We had a good relationship with him but unfortunately we were too old to be considered youth anymore (since they were starting at grade 9 and eventually working up to college and career age). After a year he had to leave because he wasn’t being paid enough to live on. This was when we severed contact for a while. We started looking at other churches but eventually came back because we couldn’t find the right fit. Things changed though because we no longer volunteered for anything in the church. We couldn’t understand how a church could care more about money than people.
In 2002 we were asked by a friend to accompany her to church. She eventually moved on to another church but we stayed. This was the type of church that we were looking for. Dynamic music, a message we could relate to and a place where we could be known for ourselves not as Mom’s daughters.
When I went to the hospital the night of Janet’s accident the nurse asked if I had a minister I could call. I didn’t have the number of my own minister so found the one for my previous church. He told me he didn’t want to be in the way so didn’t come. He apologized the next time I saw him because he didn’t understand that it was an emergency but I phoned at night why wouldn’t he? The next morning I phoned my own minister at his office and he came right away. He actually preached about community and mentioned how I had friends that supported me when I was waiting to hear how Janet was.
This was the right fit for me because they were my family at a time when I needed them. No church is perfect but to me that’s what I need.