Our Stories and Faith Journeys: a collection of testimonies from members of our church congregations…
The church part of my journey began when my first child was born and it sounded a good idea to have him baptised, followed very quickly by starting a confirmation course. At the time this didn’t affect my life, except we began attending church Sunday by Sunday. A church is a strange animal; it can weave you into its fabric without you being aware of what is happening, beginning with the social side, and then church council and things. Still the journey to faith wasn’t apparent, no ‘road to Damascus’ for sure.
The turning point: I was thrown out of work, two teenage children, some ordinary days, some very black ones. My mind turned to what can I do; no job on the horizon; family responsibilities mounting. So I asked God for help, and He did. I found a faith, and someone to trust. Now with our family situation I am very glad I found Him. He of course knew all along, and was prepared to wait. Not a very good follower, but He loves and cares for me and my family because He knows I try.
2. About 50 years ago I was invited to a service at the church of St John the Evangelist. My journey with the church has been filled with learning, with joy and sometimes with dismay at some of the events that have taken place. I have been inspired to want to know more about Jesus and the Bible, to read and learn on my continuing journey of faith.
What I hadn’t realised is that I needed to take those steps as much for myself as for my son. God had been waiting patiently for me to recognise my own need to build and grow in faith and to understand Him more deeply. As I attended my first courses and prepared for Confirmation, I continued to feel that God was calling me to do more although I couldn’t say exactly what the more was! During my Confirmation course, my sister passed away and my Niece came to live with us. It was an incredibly difficult time for my family. There was anger and questions but God and our church family bought us the support and love that we needed to see us through and cemented my faith and trust in God. Since then God has lead me to complete the Journey in Faith course and I am currently training to be a Licensed Lay Minister and exploring whether or not ordination is what God is calling me and my family to.
4. Faith is very challenging. I came to faith when I was confirmed in 1979. Having lost two children I stumbled a little. My wife and I lost hope for some time. We all need the light of God’s presence to thrive. If we live in darkness we produce nothing. My faith helps me to keep going. God must have faith in me also, keeping me strong in mind and spirit to carry on to what I do. Waking me on Sunday mornings at 6am for the 8am service, He never fails. Faith is strong, so is prayer. Sometimes we all feel stuck and helpless, rigid with anxiety and unable to cope and move on. That was me when my wife died in 2007. This was when I needed the church and its people. And now I have the responsibility and privilege to serve the church in any way I’m called to do so. This was just part of me. God bless.