In 2013, as St. Stephen's was preparing to celebrate its 125th anniversary, members of the congregation were asked to share their faith stories.
Members responded with stories of moments in their life when they recognized God.
My story related to the mountains. I remember being at Mt. Evans in Colorado one day as a teenager. As I was driving home, I turned a curve in the road. The weather, the lighting, and the scenery combined to create a perfect image of endless creation. It was no accident of geology. It could only be the guiding hand of a creator (with the help of geology!).
Spending the last few months in semi-isolation may have led others to wonder about God. Why does God allow people to get sick, suffer, die? Why does God create a situation where people can't be with their family when they are ill or dying? Why God!
Our questioning and doubting don't diminish God's existence. It just makes us human. People have been questioning God's judgment since Adam, Eve, and the serpent asked why God would deny access to the "special" fruit tree.
Sunday morning in church is a typical time for me to reset. I've confessed that I am sinful, I've been forgiven, I can start the week anew.
This time away from the physical church means that I haven't had my weekly reset time.
I'm sure that for many, this time away from the physical church has been a chance to assess, or reassess, their relationship with God.
We will probably never be back to "normal." Even when we do worship again in person, it won't look or sound the same. Some will never feel comfortable or safe returning to the church building.
But, hopefully, our relationship with God continues.
Now is a good time to assess that relationship.
Do you have a faith story to share? The church office is always glad to receive them. We'll gladly add them to the stories others in the congregation have shared.
Are you struggling with your faith story or your relationship with God? Reach out. There are people in the congregation who would be delighted to talk with you. There are plenty of resources to offer. Need a hymnal? A prayer book? Online resources? Let the church office know.
We may be alone at the moment, but we are never alone.
- Ann Iona Warner