I Love Our Church!

Stephen and I just returned from church, and my heart is so full! It is so wonderful to be a part of God’s family, to have that common bond with people you’ve never met before. It’s amazing to see how God is working in so many people’s lives, and how that ends up working into your own life, so you can build up and encourage each other in the Lord.

We recently started going to Covenant Presbyterian Church. That decision was very difficult for me, quite honestly. Growing up, I had a fairly narrow view of Christianity, and I honestly didn’t think you found many true Christians outside of Evangelical Free or Baptist churches.

Then I came to the beautiful truths of Reformed Theology. And oh, they are beautiful! My God is so much bigger, so much more powerful, so much more lovely than He ever was before! The comfort I find in a God of complete Sovereignty is inexplicably wonderful. But what was I going to do with these views? The Reformed Theology was not accepted in my home denominations or within my family. I went through a period of intense struggle between what I believed the Bible was saying, and what I wanted my family and friends to think of me. But the more we thought about it, the more we realized “You know what? We are Reformed. That’s what we believe the Bible Teaches. Therefore, we should be attending a Reformed Church!” I was still trying to be who my parents and family were. We wanted to remain in the “safety” of Baptist or E-Free churches—what we grew up with, what we knew, where our parents were at! But the Lord had other plans. So when we finally accepted that, we sought out a solid Reformed Church. And yes, there are a few of them out there;-)

I had been studying the Church Seasons and longed to begin observing them and learning from their significance. I had my heart set on observing Lent and attending an Ash Wednesday service, seeing these things for what they are—a time to focus on Christ and grow deeper in Him. Not for what I’d always seen them—associated with “liberalism” or empty tradition. For some reason, I’m really not sure why, I began looking for Presbyterian Churches in the area. I researched the denomination, the history, and the fact that we wanted to attend a Presbyterian Church of America—they’re the solid ones here! That’s when we found Covenant. We went for the first time in February, loved it, and decided to stay.

With that background, we went to church again this morning. I was again refreshed and awed by seeing something that can become as “normal” as worship done in a slightly different way. One of my favorite things that our church practices is The Lord’s Supper. Instead of passing a plate around, we all rise and go forward to receive the elements and then sit back down and take them together. As we near the pastors, holding the bread and the wine, we reach to take ours, and the pastor or elder looks us in the eye, and with a smile, says, “The body of Christ has been broken for you,” and “the blood of Christ has been spilt for you.” Wow! Something in my heart awakens at that point and wants to burst with joy at the reality of what my Savior has done for me, and the body of Christ now alive in his Church!

After church, we attended our Sunday School class, which is a Covenant Life Class, where we learn about the church, what it believes, and how to get involved. There’s something about that church that just makes me come alive. The only other church that has had that affect on me was Saylorville, in Ankeny. I miss that church! You can just sense the Holy Spirit! The past few weeks we’ve been meeting people in the class and talking with the pastors and have just been surprised over and over again at how genuine everyone is. They are so sincere in their joy to see us again, their concern to help us get involved, to invite us over, their desire to get to know us and see us again. We always feel so incredibly loved—and like God reached down and gave us a big hug:-)

Today we had a lunch afterwards and we stayed for almost two hours, talking to the new people we had met. Some were older, some were the same age. Some had just passed through the stage of life where we were at. Others were still in it. We really connected and had wonderful conversations about how good God is, and what He’s done in our lives.

And now we have to leave. For three months we will be doing Stephen’s internship in the Quad Cities. I have an ache in my heart to leave these people already. Three months is a long time to be away, and I hope they don’t forget us. We’ve exchanged e-mails and we are looking forward to getting together again when we get back. But I am always amazed at God’s goodness. I may be far away from my physical family here in Chicago, but I’m never far away from God’s family! And they are everywhere! Even where you might think you’d never find them;-)

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by StevoWillco on May 7, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I would concur and state that you go to an awesome church! LOL! of course! But I would love to state the the teaching there is constantly reminding us of our need for Christ and how Christ meets those needs! I’ll miss you Covenant Presbyterian!

    Reply

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