Years in the Making: 1-3 to be Exact

By on April 25, 2016 in News & Musings

After moving to Minneapolis I spent a few years church hunting, only recently have I reflected on why. I grew up in a Christian family and was deeply active in church activities on a local, regional, state, and national level. Coming from a small town in rural Wisconsin, these church friends from across the nation became some of my closest friends. My connection to the larger world. My community.

Since college, however, my faith has ebbed and flowed in perhaps some of the most clichéd ways. It has gone from profoundly strong to nonexistent and everywhere in between. Although no longer clichéd, I still don’t know exactly what I believe and I’m okay with that. No matter where I’ve been in my faith life one thing has always remained true, I’ve always longed for the relationships that come with belonging to a faith community. I realized there was a certain level of comfort that was missing in my life.

That longing is what led me to church hunt, finding it is what kept me at Zion. Granted, it took some time for me to get established. Trust me, it’s not you, Zion. It’s me. I dabbled with attending other congregations in the area, yet I kept find myself back at Zion. I liked the feel, the heart, and the welcome that I received. Still there were other things that kept me away, most frequently being my work/travel schedule, but certainly the idea of sleeping in or not having to “work” on a Sunday was also appealing (I frequently spoke at churches on Sundays, so simply being in a church often felt like work).

After sporadically dabbling with Zion for what I believe to be two years, I had a turning moment. Confession: I was such a rare sighting that I think I even received a welcome bag twice…which I didn’t turn down! After what very possibly was months of not responding, I finally replied to a message Kirsten Anderson sent me. My emailed was timed as such that Kirsten was able to invite me to a dinner at her house just a few days later. When I accepted the invitation I didn’t know it was a Zion related dinner. When the day came I clearly recall telling a colleague on my way out the door, “I don’t know why I accepted this invitation, I hate being around groups of people where I don’t know anyone.” Thankfully the pull to honor my word was stronger than the urge to put on my sweatpants and stream Netflix on a Monday night in January. Trust me, that’s a strong urge. The energy I put toward getting myself to her house was well worth it. I very quickly found myself feeling comfortable with this group, we were engaged in conversation, laughing, enjoying, community-ing (go with me here). I got home and wondered how I had just gone to a dinner where I didn’t know anyone and walked away excited to see them all again. Thankfully, I knew when and where to find them.

And just like that, attending church no longer felt like work. I quickly (a relative term) became a member (celebrating 1 year this week!). In this last year Zion has become even more than the community I was originally looking for, you’ve become a family. I have been on vacation with many of you, I celebrate with you, I mourn with you, I learn from you, I laugh with you (sometimes even during worship…) and I always look forward to seeing you.

Our guest blogger, beccaBecca, is a lifelong optimist, Lutheran, sun screen applier, Wisconsinite, and user of the Oxford comma. You’ll frequently hear her talking about podcasts, gender issues, finances, and the great outdoors – sometimes all in the same breath!

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