I grew up in Seattle, Washington and as a child spent lots of time with my family hiking, camping and skiing and very little time at church. We went occasionally but it was not part of the fabric of my family.
When I was a teenager, we moved to South Carolina and began regularly attending church. Lake Murray Presbyterian was a small church, but for someone who did not really know the Bible it was an intimidating place. But I had a desire to be there, and also a desire to know more. In graduate school, I began working with youth at Forest Lake Presbyterian Church and loved learning the stories as I taught them to the kids.
After Billy and I married, I knew we would join a church, and in 1989 we became members at First Pres. It was shortly after we joined that Ansley Belcher Page became an Associate Pastor. She began a group call Y.A.P.S. – Young Adult Presbyterians. I remember attending her Sunday school class and she lined the walls with yellow bulletin board paper and began illustrating and telling the stories in the Bible. For the first time, I did not feel inadequate for my lack of knowledge. I felt like I belonged and it was a great feeling.
I guess at that time I decided I wanted to be an unintimidating presence for those who were seeking to know Christ. My desire to learn was enhanced when my friend Becky Dunbar lost her son Jackson and she began a weekly Bible study, and it was here that my faith became my own. I studied, and wanted to learn more and more. It became a part of my routine.
The scriptures contained all the answers, and as I began to learn more it created a desire in me to know more. I believe in the Trinity. Jesus was God’s son sent here to live among us and to teach us how to live a Christian life. He died for our sins so we may have eternal life in Heaven. As I Christian, I try not to sin, but the flesh is weak, and daily I ask for forgiveness from a loving God. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and enables us to have a relationship with Christ. I believe in the power of prayer, and its importance in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
I have been on a few committees at church, but the most fulfilling for me was working with new members. I think the period of feeling like I did not belong helped me identify with those seeking membership. I like to make others feel welcome and find a place to belong, and hopefully someday feel the love I have for my church family and Jesus Christ. I think there is a place at First Pres. for all who want to serve, and by serving we can glorify Christ, and make Him known to others.