This post has been a long time in coming; I just couldn’t lay out in my mind how to begin.
The Lord has led Ken and me to a new church.
The whole thing really began last summer, when we took one Sunday to visit a church near our home, St. Paul Lutheran. Ken had walked by it many times, and (as a Lutheran by upbringing) was curious about it.
As we walked out after that first worship service, we looked at each other and went, “Wow! Didn’t you think that was awesome?” So we began to visit on a fairly regular basis. A number of things kept calling us to this church:
• The combination of traditional liturgy with contemporary music
• The frequency of the Lord’s Supper (every other week at alternating services)
• The U-shaped layout of the church, which allows you to see other worshipers while focusing also on the altar — enhances the real sense of worshipping in community
• The pastor’s Gospel-centered messages Sunday after Sunday; his contagious enthusiasm for sharing the Word
• A strong men’s ministry (monthly and weekly breakfasts offering Ken fellowship and mentoring)
• Friendships with people who live in our neighborhood and town
• It’s about a 5-minute drive from our house; walkable in summer time
We prayed about it and took our time. This was a hard decision for me, after being active in my beloved First Presbyterian for 19 years. But many of our closest friends had moved on to other churches … it just seemed like the right time.
We went through one round of new member classes, but felt the time wasn’t right. Now, after nearly completing a second section of new member classes, we felt the Lord said the time was now. So, on March 25, we’ll be taken in as new members of St. Paul Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod).
For me, it will be a new adventure. For Ken, it is like coming back home.
I am excited about the growth I have already seen in my husband’s life. Here’s an example: The whole church has been going through a 9-week Spiritual Growth Campaign. We’ve had a different theme every week; daily devotionals taught on that theme and then the Sunday School and sermon also reinforced the same theme. During worship, we were asked to reflect on and make a commitment related to that theme. We wrote them down on cards and presented them to the Lord.
The week that we focused on the Bible, we were asked to make a commitment to Bible reading/study that week. I had made a commitment to read Mark; then after church Ken told me his commitment was to read Luke — with me. And so began a more or less regular Bible-reading time that Ken and I have when we can spend an evening together. We’ve read Luke and Mark … now we are reading Matthew.
It’s been exciting and enlightening to read the Gospels together, aloud, all the way through. And it’s just a blessing to see Ken’s hunger for God’s Word increase.