In this Thanksgiving month, it is only fitting to be mindful of blessings, provision and abundance. For me, those things cannot be considered without Epworth in the center.
I came to Epworth over 25 years ago. I had recently moved to Toledo, was looking for a church home (born and raised in the Methodist church in rural NW Ohio), and drove by the church while taking a different route to the mall! On my first visit, I was warmly welcomed by an older woman who took me under her wing for years to come! God knew!!
Soon after joining, I was approached by then youth pastor D2 (David David!!), to come on board as a youth leader. That seemed way out of my comfort zone, but I trusted his invitation and said yes. God knew!! This led to years of memories, work teams, multiple small group opportunities, lasting friendships with youth and many families, and more. To see youth living for Christ was a blessing beyond words. As a single person, many of these youth became like the children I would never have on my own! God knew!!
A treasured friend who was also involved in youth ministry continued to invite me to attend an Emmaus weekend. I finally did, and then became involved (again from the same friend’s encouragement) in serving that ministry and Chrysalis as a team member. I cannot overstate the value of pouring into fellow Christian friends! I met even more people through that ministry who have had a profound impact on my life. Christian friends are the BEST accountability partners. God knew!!
Epworth IS my family. Virtually every part of my life has Epworth woven into it. From Sunday morning worship and Sunday school, Emmaus share group, Wesley group, social activities and more, I am surrounded by Epworth and its people. When my mom passed away a couple years ago, guess who drove 2 hours to support me (not to mention those who prayed from a distance)….many from my Epworth family.
I am so thankful for the unexpected twists and turns of my life…. they led me to Epworth, to opportunities to step out of my comfort zone for Christ, amazing and wonderful friendships, chances to grow in my faith, to serve the least and lost, and so much more. God knew!!
I hope you see Epworth among your multitudes of blessings in this season as well.