Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Letter to my Church

Since I have been at school I have tried to stay in touch with people from back home; including the congregation I have been a part of for the past eighteen years...

Last week sometime my minister from my home church asked me to write a paragraph that talked about how growing up in that church led me towards ministry. She said that it would tie into her sermon really well.

I started writing it in the mind set that I would only be writing a paragraph. It ended up being longer then both her and I expected. When I told her it was about a page she said she may end up just taking bits and pieces and paraphrasing it. I didn't have a problem with this...

About an hour after I emailed to her, I got a call. She said that there was only one thing she had a problem with; she wasn't sure she would be able to read it without crying. She had then told me how she loved it and she was planning on reading it "as is".

"This church has always been my second home. I was always a Sunday school go-er. Even though I wasn’t too thrilled to be dragged to church on Sunday mornings by my mother (in fact, I hated it). Along with this I was also an avid middle school youth group attendee. Although church was not “my thing” yet, I liked being a part of it all. Something changed my freshmen year of high school. This transformation began for me on the first day of confirmation when I began to learn about all the things I never paid attention to in Sunday school (funny how I ended up to be a Sunday school teacher huh?). When I started going to full church services I started to feel a part of the community our church holds.

I have never considered myself confident enough to get up and speak in front of a large group. Well, all of you changed that for me the first time I was liturgist. I thought I was terrible up there, but everyone came up to me afterwards and told me that I did great. Thank you for giving me this confidence. From the first mission trip I took part in to Abbeville Louisiana all the way to the most recent trip to Ecuador, this congregation has stood by me, stood by everyone. You all thanked me, and prayed for me. Thank you for keeping me going. You have entrusted so much in me, to teach you children, to serve you communion, and to serve others with along side you. I feel that all of that trust you gave to me created my most powerful trusts in God. Thank you for everything.

Part of me thought that I shouldn’t go there, that I couldn’t have possibly been called into ministry at such a young age. The following day, I heard this for the first time “I think divinity school my be somewhere in your future.” I smiled, laughed, and sort of shrugged and said something nonchalant like “Haha I’m not sure.” Shortly there after I got more and more questions and statements similar to the first. To be perfectly honest I am not quite sure why I never gave an honest response. It may have been because I am scared of disappointment. Not only in myself, but I was afraid to disappoint all of you.

God has put me on a longer path; I am first majoring in Education, because I feel as I was called to teach. And although I am not taking the direct path to ministry, I know that this congregation is here for me. After all, you are my second family. And if it wasn’t for you, I know I would not be where I am today."

Sunday morning (afternoon) when I woke up:
-Missed call and voicemail from my gramma at 8:24
-Missed call and voicemail from my mom's cell at 11:16
-Missed call and voicemail from home (a.k.a mom) at 12:12

They were very curious why I did not tell them not to go to church, because my grandmother almost didn't. My mom also told me how many people from the congregation that the letter affected. It feels weird not being there to be able to talk to them and to tell them all these things myself, but I am glad my words got to them in another way...

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