This is an easy topic for me to write about. My family has been a part of the FAITH community for about 18 years now. When John and I visited FAITH the first few times to check it out, the welcoming community was what really drew us in. We had visited two or three other churches and didn’t feel welcomed in the same way we did at FAITH. People here genuinely wanted to get to know us and welcomed us to be a part of the community.
Over the years I’ve been at FAITH, I’ve seen this community surround so many people in their time of need. Our family has been blessed to be surrounded more than once by this community through prayer, hugs, authentic conversation, and a listening ear.
This past Sunday, many of you attended our Annual Celebration. There was so much joy that evening…laughter, silliness, abounding smiles, engaging conversations, and love! I know God was smiling down on us that night because that’s how he designed us; to live with others in a community of love.
We live in a broken world and it’s easy to get discouraged and to feel overwhelmed. It’s easy to feel alone and to think that no one understands what you are going through. We all need God’s love and the love of those around us.
In my time here, leadership at FAITH has always emphasized the importance of accepting people right where they are and encouraging one another to engage in authenticity with one another. When we know we are accepted for who we are, and others are willing to share their stories, we grow and develop into a loving, supportive, and joyful community.
My heart overflows when I see my children engaging in the joy of this community too! It’s so important for our children to grow up surrounded by lots of people who love them and support them in many ways. One of the joys I see in this community is how Mason and Avery are loved and encouraged by so many people. They aren’t just the “Lord kids”, they are Mason and Avery. They are spoken to directly and people engage with them directly and make them feel like they are a part of this community, not just somebody’s kids.
I thank each and every one of you for being a part of this community we call FAITH. I’m blessed to know you and blessed to have my family surrounded by you! I am reminded of this verse. “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Roman 12:4-5 God created us to love Him and to love one another and I think He overflows with joy when He sees His people living in a loving and joyful community with one another! – Dee Ann Lord, Children & Family Ministry Coach