Christmas of 2018 was a highly anticipated celebration of all the traditions that had nourished our extended family for many years, 27 of them in Atlanta. We knew, though, with that deep down knowing, that something new beckoned from the horizon, a life lived a little more simply. My Christian faith has formed, informed and continues to (hopefully) transform me since childhood, at home and in faith-based schools right through graduate degrees! In 2018 I was an active member of a vibrant, liturgically life-giving parish, welcoming to all no matter what. It was clear that as priorities began to emerge for Spirit-led next steps, an inclusive faith community was high on the list.
My website search began. God, however, made sure that Episcopal Church of the Redeemer was unmistakably in my view. A friend from the Centering Prayer community in Atlanta said one day, in conversation, “You know, there’s a Centering Prayer group in Greensboro, at the Episcopal Church.” Another website to explore! I discovered Reaching In, Reaching Out, and a book group called Aging (now Living) Gracefully reading not one, but two of my all-time favorite authors, an active ECW and photos of multiple ministries in the community, bulletins to read and sermons to savor from a rector with a very compelling story. The first thing my curious eyes saw was a quote from Bishop Wright: Welcome, we are many kinds……….but we are first and foremost followers of Jesus and this was Jesus’ only request of us—that we would love the world because he loves the world, with all its warts, all of them, and all its wonders, all of them.
We moved to Greensboro mid-summer, 2019. My Dad was in his final illness and I was not always around weekends. But one day in late August, I walked into our beautiful historic sanctuary, sat down, and was immediately warmly greeted by the person on my right. And later by the person on my left. And by several more people at the conclusion of services…. The sermon resonated in both heart and head. When I arrived home, my husband, Frank, just looked at me, smiled and said, You’ve found a home.
I, now we, could not be more grateful to the Holy Spirit for gentle guidance and clear confirmation. As we approach Christmas, 2022, I look forward to learning and growing for years to come in this beloved community!