Julie frequently took Bible study classes and joined spiritual formation small groups but after class she would pull me aside and whisper fiercely to me, “My 40 year old cousin is dying of cancer and I just don’t know if I can believe in God if this is how God has arranged the world.” I smiled and listened. What can you say to that? Julie also donated an extra $1000 dollars every time we went to Nicaragua to help some family in dire need.
When Bill first started coming to church he was terrified to pray out loud. Even the traditional grace at the Thanksgiving family dinner left him tongue tied and flustered. Bill signed up for a new Bible study that covered the entire book - Genesis to Revelation. After that class, Bill shifted his political opinions, adopted a new sense of purpose, and when someone asked for prayer, he raised his hand with ease.
Jennifer was a lawyer on track to make partner but she still found life was missing some key ingredient. After a mission trip, she quit her job and discovered a new path in the not-for-profit world. She found joy in tutoring kids to read, building economic on-ramps for at risk youth and creating affordable housing in our city.
When I first read the church’s new tagline, I thought of Julie, who needed a church to “meet you where you are” without expecting you to have life and faith all figured out. And I thought of Bill who needed a church that would “walk alongside you on the spiritual journey” with patience, education, kindness and reflection. And I thought of Jennifer who discovered a “life of greater meaning” through hands-on service.
We had an outside consultant study our church and interview some of our members to help us find a short sentence to tell our story and invite friends and family, co-workers and visitors into this experience called church that has shaped our own lives. This was the result:
We meet you where you are
And walk alongside you on the spiritual journey
To a life with greater meaning.
Maybe you know someone like Julie, like Bill or like Jennifer who would appreciate being invited.
Grace and Peace,