Church and my church family has always been a source of safety and loving support. This was true of my childhood church that I attended for about 26 years before moving out of state. When my husband and I returned to CT, we didn’t attend a church for at least four years outside of the occasional return to my childhood church. I truly thought I didn’t need a church to worship. Afterall, I had deep faith and spirituality and that should be good enough. I was wrong. Not only did I need a place to worship and be fed spiritually, but I also needed that sense of safety and loving support of a church family.
The credit for my initial visit to King Street church goes to my sister. She told me of this wonderful church who welcomes and accepts ANYONE. Being a woman who craves diversity and acceptance of people for who they are, not who society says, this intrigued me. My sister also told me how this church helped her and her family without even knowing who she was. I thought if my sister found a church she liked this much then I should check it out. I showed up by myself that first Sunday planning to just sit in the back and observe. Well, my sister had other plans and introduced me to everyone…especially the choir. I told my husband how welcoming this church was and our whole family (which happens to be a mixture of races and backgrounds and has included many foster children over the years) began attending regularly. Before I was even a member, I was singing in the choir and serving as Liturgist.
I have been reminded so often over the years why I chose King Street United Church of Christ as my church. However, in the last couple weeks there have been exceptional examples of God’s love and grace poured out through the congregation of this church, my church. I am overwhelmed with blessings despite feeling the pain of the current emotional distress in my personal life. This past year has, in short, been challenging and life altering. It has tested my inner strength, my outward patience, and my trust in our triune God. Throughout it all I have been able to count on my faith and my church family. This is the King Street way; to take care of each other. I prefer to be on the giving end of the love and support, but this time it was me who was in need. My church family never fails to provide for those needs even when they can’t be articulated.
As I write these words, God is putting images in my mind of why King Street United Church of Christ means so much to me and it is overwhelming. I am seeing time spent with a friend while making lasagnas for our monthly lasagna dinner, feeling the warmth of an embrace as I cry into the shoulder of another friend, my foster babies being held and loved as part of my family, my daughter learning about Christ and developing her faith through Sunday School, the patient support and guidance of our Pastor through many challenges, the blessing of many (one in particular) who have encouraged my continued education. The common theme is friends, family, and blessings. That is what King Street United Church of Christ is all about…receiving and sharing the love and grace of our Lord with everyone. AMEN!