We were introduced to Epworth in 2009 by friends of ours in a local Parents Group.  We were looking for a new church, one that had more activities for families and that could make church “fun” for the whole family. At Epworth, we found a lively Contemporary Service, and Cindy fell in love with Contemporary Christian music.  We got involved in Friday Night Kids Stuff, outdoor worship, VBS, and a phenomenal Preschool for Sasha. We were loving our new church!

Just months after becoming members, we were reminded about the true meaning of church. In August 2009, Scott was diagnosed with Tonsil Cancer and our world was turned upside down.  By October 1st, we pulled Sasha out of Epworth’s Preschool and headed to The Cleveland Clinic for two months of intense chemotherapy and radiation.  The love and support we received from our Epworth family was immeasurable and truly lifesaving.  Sasha was mailed a package full of cards from her preschool teachers and classmates that brought us all to tears.  One of our Epworth friends told me all about K-Love radio and sent us to Cleveland with a stack of Contemporary Christian CDs. I can’t begin to explain the peace and strength that music gave me.  Every week, we received countless texts and emails telling us that Epworth was lifting us in prayer.  We felt, and needed, every one of those prayers.

During a particularly rough patch in the hospital, I had to take a break, and I walked out of Scott’s room. When I came back, I found Pastor Bob and Mary Beth Thomas by Scott’s bedside, and I cried tears of relief and joy. We’d been members for less than a year, and they drove 2 hours to visit us in Cleveland- and it wasn’t the only time! Thankfully, Scott doesn’t remember most of the 9 months that he was sick, but he remembers a few things.  He remembers the pain, the feeding tube, and the visits from Pastor Bob and Mary Beth.

I remember Christmas Eve that year.  I had one goal, and that was to have Scott back at church on Christmas Eve. Scott doesn’t remember walking into church that night 11 years ago, but I sure do. He was weak and hooked to a feeding tube, but the love we felt walking to the front pew that night was overwhelming.  Our families were unable to do much for us during that difficult time, but our Epworth family showed up and taught us how to lean into our faith.  Epworth gave us support and hope when we felt scared and alone.  We were reminded of the healing power of prayer and the unconditional love of our God.  A year later, we were blessed with Danica, and throughout the years, our involvement at Epworth continues to grow. On top of the many family events we attend, our girls have enjoyed Children’s Music Ministry and all of the youth programs and retreats. Cindy continues to serve on committees, gets to sing with the Praise Band, and now works in the church office. We were truly blessed to find Epworth Church.