I came to St. Stephen’s with my wife, Nichole, roughly five years ago after the births of our two sons, Kipper and Max. I was baptized at St. Stephen’s and I wanted the same for our boys. My family attended St. Stephen’s until I was about 7 years old. Having not attended church since that time, there was a lot to learn that was both new and scary for my wife and I.
With two boys under 3, The nursery was an immediate blessing! Without distractions, Nikki and I were able to take in the worship experience St. Stephen’s has to offer. It was the most peaceful hour of our week! It was many weeks before most folks at church even realized we had been bringing our kids downstairs all along. My entire family was made to feel welcome right from the start. Without the nursery, regular attendance probably wouldn’t have happened.
MY SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
I’ve always considered myself spiritual. Throughout my life, I celebrated God in my heart. I don’t believe that can only be done from a pew. I prayed to Him a lot–not out loud, but in my head–both in good times and in bad.
I deeply enjoy this spiritual journey I share with you. I consider myself still not far from my starting line. I’ve begun to recognize readings and scripture that feel familiar from my complete trips around the liturgical calendar (although I can still count those on one hand). When I first found myself regularly attending worship, I was pretty sure I could imagine what was to come: I would learn a lot more than I knew about Jesus and the Bible. I felt good knowing I was showing my kids something I want them to have in their lives. Maybe I’d become a better father, husband, friend.
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”
-Unknown (just kidding… Donald Rumsfeld)
Until one tries it, it’s impossible to predict how the Holy Spirit will move in one’s life. I’ve begun to see my priorities shift. Although I can’t pinpoint what it is, I sense I’m being steered toward something—a path that’s meant just for me. With a young family and my own business, there are never enough hours in a day. When I can, I’ve enjoyed participating in our community at St. Stephen’s in various ways: I’m in my 2nd term on your Vestry, I’m an Acolyte, I serve on the Property Committee and on the newly created visioning team. I was part of our most recent profile committee and part of the team that made worship possible when we could no longer gather in person during the worst of the pandemic.
I imagine us on a trip together, in one big bus. Some of us kind of know where we’re going. Some of us don’t. Some of us have been on the bus a long time. Some of us have just got on. Some of our passengers have already gotten off the bus, but hopefully, we’ll pick them up again later. Every once in a while, we pick up someone new, and that’s exciting! Sometimes the windows are clear and each new horizon is easy to see. Other times the windows cloud up and visibility is poor. Then we just have to wait for things to clear up to see what’s ahead. Sometimes our bus makes a funny noise and nearly breaks down. But we know our bus well and work together to keep it running. I don’t know where, or when, our trip will end, but I like the people I’m riding with, and there’s no place I’d rather be.