I had never attended a bible study before and had no idea what to expect. Having grown up Catholic, my bible exposure was limited to the first, second and gospel readings during mass. In the Catholic faith we had lots of religious icons: the rosary, the statues, and the confessional. I found great comfort in attending church so as I moved when I moved from New York to New Mexico in 1997, I found St. Bernadette’s. Then, when I moved to North Carolina in 2000, I found St. Matthew’s. With yet another move back to New Mexico in 2001, Holy Child was my church.
But, then…. I married a Methodist and my Catholic church attendance quickly came to an end. I could not have known the way my faith would grow in the coming years.
Fast forward to September 2004; I was a new stay-at-home mother and, having slightly different religious affiliations than my husband, we felt we needed to find a new church home. We needed a place where we could not only attend church but also set a foundation for our family.
I noticed on the Mountain Christian Church marquis that a Women’s Bible Study was starting and it peaked my interested. But I waited...yes, I drove up and down Route 14 thinking I wanted to attend the Women’s Bible Study but I didn’t feel comfortable enough to stop.
Then, God intervened.
Out of the blue, my neighbor Kelly asked if I wanted to attend that exact study. And I said yes!
It was a decision that would change my life. The study was Jennifer Rothschild’s “Walking by Faith: Lesson learned in the Dark.” During that study I learned so much about faith, from both Jennifer’s book and my group.
I realize now that I was divinely placed in Pam Cravens’ small group. And while I haven’t seen Kelly Odegard since 2005, in the brief time I did know her, she fulfilled her purpose of leading me to a bible study and new church home. I know that I would not have taken that first step to attend that bible study without her!
You see, even though church was always present in our family growing up; we were literally a dictionary definition of an Italian/Irish Catholic family, attending this bible study taught me about the personal relationship that I could have with Jesus. While I revered and feared God, ultimately I hoped I could do enough good things to get me into heaven. Salvation looked different from the Catholic perspective. Until that bible study I had no idea about the personal and private relationship with Jesus that was just for me.
In Jesus I found a friend who consoled, counseled, taught, loved, scolded and humored with me. Because if you know me, you know He has to have a sense of humor.
In the inner sanctum of Pam’s small group, we were bound by trust and I found new sisters in Christ. Being in the study was life changing in so many ways!
I was baptized by Frank in 2006 and have been what I like to call “living intentionally Christian” ever since. Am I perfect? Ha! Nope. But I have a personal relationship with Jesus that I didn’t have before and I have been able to share that with my husband and children and anyone else God puts in my path.
My mission field is not in my church, neighborhood, nor in my circles, but in every day dealings with business colleagues and school activities and with strangers, when I am brave enough.
My involvement in various ministries blossomed, from coordinating the first Food for the Hungry Bolivia sponsorships, to bringing MOPS to MCC, to running the VBS preschool and counting collections monies, to very occasionally playing the flute with the worship team.
This all happened because I came to Women’s Bible Study. I have found something here that I didn’t even know was missing and I am eternally grateful for Mountain Christian and all its women opening their arms and hearts to warmly welcome me.
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The Women’s Serving Team is hosting a Mugs & Muffins event August 10th from 9:00 – 11:00am in the Fellowship Hall. Christine Leggett will be leading us in a discussion about the spiritual battle we each have with the desires of our heart. It will be a morning of fellowship, rich discussion and encouragement as we come together to study God’s Word. Praying you can join us. Don’t forget your favorite coffee mug! Please RSVP to Christine if you need childcare.
You can go on a mission trip and never leave Albuquerque. International Students Incorporated (ISI) helps international students when they arrive in the U.S. ISI has a chapter at UNM helping pick up students as they arrive at the airport, providing temporary home stays, helping find housing, English as a second language training and friendship partners. A new school year is getting started with hundreds of international students arriving at UNM. Please consider helping in one of the ways noted above. Alternatively, we will be providing lunch for students and volunteers on Wednesday, August 7 (signup sheets will be in the foyer). If you are interested in helping or just want more information please contact Vince Tidwell.
MCC’s Shine Partnership is hosting a dessert night Wednesday, August 14 at 7:00pm at Ashley Procter’s house! Current Shine volunteers, anyone curious about what Shine is, or those interested in becoming a Shine volunteer are invited! Contact Ashley if you have questions or need directions.
Save the Date: MCC Elders are hosting a 4-week Foundations Class starting September 15 and running through the first week in October. This class is designed to better help you get to know MCC - who we are, what we believe and why, and how to get connected. Please sign up with Sarah.