church families.

16 Dec
That’s the language tossed about within congregations – your church family.  The church to which you belong becomes like a family.  But rather, not just LIKE a family but it is your family.  Your church family.  You’re with each other through tough times and great times, the joys and the sorrows.  (Warning: Cliche approaching.)  I am so blessed.  I have THREE church families.  
East Koshkonong is the church family to which I formally belong, the church family in which I grew up.  It’s the country church where I was baptized and confirmed, the church where I spend every Christmas Eve (with the exception of last year).  When I worship at East, I share the pews with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  One of my favorite memories is as a small girl, crawling over other family members to sit next to my Grandma Vera.  She always had peppermints in her purse.  I remember sitting next to my dad who would always put his arm around me (and sometimes fall asleep during the sermon).  Here I played my flute with the senior choir, I taught Sunday School, and ultimately first felt my call to ministry.  With approval behind me and only one semester ahead of me, I look forward to planning my ordination – a celebration I will have the opportunity to share with this church family, knowing I have their constant prayers and support as I journey in ministry.
Trinity in Stillwater is the second church family of which I ever became a part.  I began working at Trinity in 2007 and worked through the spring of 2009.  I loved the time I spent at Trinity in children’s ministry and working with an innovative staff.  One of the coolest things about this church family is going back to it.  After a year and a half away, I’ve come back to Trinity to worship and to lead a small group of ninth grade confirmation ladies.  It’s crazy to come back and have these children that I worked with for two and half years remember me and still greet me with hugs.  (And many confused looks.  But we’ll focus on the hugs.)  My small group is truly a blessing.  Tonight we wrote on the chalkboard wall in our meeting room for the first time – for fun!  Not only do I get to interact once again with children I’ve known from years past, but I also am blessed to see the staff members. I love hanging out after confirmation is over with Denise, one of my ‘Stillwater Moms’ and my BFF from a Mexico mission trip of the past.  I’ve missed her.
Grace in Dawson is my third church family who I still think of and miss every day.  Lots.  And it is certainly true that people there – members of the congregation and the staff with whom I spent lots of time – became my family when I was away from mine for a year.  I remember tearing up during the candlelight singing of Silent Night on Christmas Eve, missing that moment that I have each year with my family.  But then afterwards, I was invited to dinner, gifts, and games with coworkers and members alike at my supervisor’s home.  Looking back, it was different.  But it was perfect.  They were the ones who supported me in some truly rough times and helped me grow.  A lot.  We drank lots of coffee and had a bit too much fun for our own good.  (I still remember playing baseball in the hallway with Kendall using a rolled up poster and wiffle ball on a random weekday morning.  And don’t get me started on VeeBeeS and sewing purses.  Too much fun.)  I know that I’m in trouble when it comes to my first call; I find it hard to believe that being the pastor of any church can live up to Grace and the year I had there.
I have three church families – even if I’m not actively involved in each at this time.  In any given week, I receive the newsletter from one.  There are facebook friend requests and long facebook messages to keep in touch.  I have a penpal.  Birthday wishes.  Text messages.  Holiday cards. I love my church families and think I’m most certainly blessed to have three of them.  Love it.
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One Response to “church families.”

  1. ourlittlesliceofhappy December 19, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    aaawwwww. Here's a big hug from your Dawson family: SSSSQQQQQUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZEEEEmiss you!

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