So, I mentioned that my husband and I are involved in an Anglican church plant, and this is the post where I tell the story behind that, because otherwise I'm not going to be able to write posts about "our church" with any confidence that anyone knows what I'm talking about!
A few years ago, our family left the Episcopal church. I documented our thought process pretty well here on the blog, and you can go search the archives if you're interested in all our reasons. Short version: it was a matter of conscience, and it was really, really hard, because we were leaving a bunch of friends (who were also following the dictates of their consciences) behind.
For the next few years, we attended a really wonderful church that's part of the Anglican Church in North America. Wonderful, wonderful church . . . that was a long drive away from where we live. So, we got to be a part of that church family, but really only on Sundays, because the drive more than doubled on weekdays, due to traffic.
I'm skipping lots of details here, because I don't want to make the world's longest blog post, but somewhere mid-2012, both the group of us who ended up in ACNA and a group of people still at the church we left ended up feeling called to come back together and plant a new church - an ACNA church - in our home town. The really cool thing is who we all ended up in the same place, with the same call, at the same time. And with the approval (you might even say urging) of both of our bishops.
And lots and lots and lots of other things came together at the same time, including us finding a church willing not just to let us rent space from them, but to really host us and encourage our endeavor. (Instead of seeing us as competition, they really saw that a city of 50,000 people could use as many more churches as the Lord saw fit to plant!).
So now (skipping hours and hours and hours of work and research and prayer), we have a church! We held our first mass on the first Sunday of Advent. We've already had a baptism and some confirmations and a visit from our bishop.
And it's amazing. I'm at church again with many of the dear people from the church we left, and the Lord held us all safely through the weird stresses of leaving the Episcopal Church, and even though we made different decisions then, He brought us back together to worship now. Like I said, I'm skipping a lot of details, but it's just amazing that we're all in the same place again, at this new church. The details are all amazing, too, but they're not all my story to tell.
But there's an Anglican church in my home town. I get to be a part of it. I just . . . I am overwhelmed at the kindness of the Lord. My kids get to go to church in their home town. They're going to get to grow up, Lord willing, with their lives integrated into the life of the local church. We get to be church people! I just can't get over it. It's incredible. It's everything we hoped for - everything that seemed like an impossible dream three years ago.
It's so much work, it's so still the beginning of everything, but still . . . it's so good. It's so, so good, and so good of the Lord to let us worship Him together. I'll probably babble on about my church again and again in this blog. I hope you don't mind; it's just been such a long time coming.
Peace of Christ to you,