Skip to content

What it Has Meant to be a New Member at Black mountain united church of christ

  • by

by Sondra

Three years ago, when I attended Black Mountain Church of Christ for the first time, I was struck at once by the beauty of the small sanctuary, by the remarkable piano and organ music, and by the minister’s thought-provoking sermon. I had come in need of the familiar sacred rituals to help me feel close to God, to His strength and calm. I would enter, sit way in the back, be moved every time to tears of loneliness, frustration, and grief, and slip quickly out the door without speaking to anyone. That was what I wanted: to be anonymous, to be in a private space where I could be authentic—away from the role of solo caregiver demanded at home.

Looking back now, I remember there were many people who gave me welcoming smiles. And there was one woman who had a quiet way of letting me know she cared. Also, the minister, in her opening remarks, always invited everyone to gather in the fellowship hall after the service. But I felt comfortable to come and go as I wished, on my own journey, tears and all, for as long as I needed. The respect and acceptance shown to me was a great gift.

In my second year of attendance, I began to meet with the minister in a small grief support group. With the benefit of her guidance and love, and the support of the others, as I opened my heart there, I found I was longing for companionship. I began gathering the courage to go over to Fellowship Hall after the service. I attended book club and women’s happy hour. I began to make friends, some with diverse backgrounds from my own, giving me a chance to grow and widen my views.

In my third year, out of a desire to belong to a God-loving community, I became a member—that has made a big difference in the quality of my life. I am no longer alone in the role of caregiver. If I need help, I can ask. But more than that, I am finding ways I can help others. Black Mountain Church offers many opportunities: bring warm clothes to the altar for Phoenix’s homeless seniors, bring food for the local food bank, donate for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, provide clothes and shoes to the Refugee Resource Center in Mexico, and the list goes on.

Also, I decided I wanted to volunteer my time to find ways to enhance our worship service and our adult education program. As I became more actively involved in the church, I discovered an exhilarating sense of purpose and identity beyond being a caregiver. I feel joy at being reconnected to God and proud knowing this is my church. I belong here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *