Most Sunday mornings for the last year and a half, I have walked through the doors to this place. It's not always easy to make it. It's not always how I want to spend a Sunday morning. Life could easily become an excuse for us, but we have committed to ourselves and each other and our family that we will be here, that doing church matters to us.
I will admit that I had some preconceived opinions of our church before we started attending that made me hesitate. But, since that hot July Sunday in 2016, we have not looked back. I dearly love this place, this community, these people. They have welcomed and embraced us, noisy preschooler, fumbling parents, family too often just trying to keep things together enough to show up.
I thought they would, but these people don't care if we hear the whole sermon, if our child marches back down the aisle in the middle of the children's story, if we sing the right tune to the hymns. This community, over and over, has given us exactly what we need.
We have found community in the midst of a large congregation. We have been trusted to be a part of the work of the church. We have found both peace and discomfort at times when each was needed. We have found acceptance of our imperfections and support in expressing our uncertainties and doubts. We have been challenged by sermons and conversations and relationships.
Most importantly, we have found love and celebration for just being. And for us in this time and space of life, that is exactly what church needs to be.