Finding First Presbyterian, in 1985, as the mother of an 18 month old and newly transplanted from the east coast – and I don’t say this lightly – was life changing. I had grown up in the church and I knew well the language and customs of the institution of the church, but had not yet experienced God in a personal way. In fact, if I am completely honest, I was pretty indifferent to God. God, to me, was all about rules and dos and don’ts. But new in Santa Rosa, I was eager to meet people and find playmates for my daughter when I learned there was a great preschool at First Presbyterian.
She was accepted at the preschool and as a Presbyterian Preschool parent (over the years and with three more children, I was a preschool mom for eleven years), by feeling welcomed and mentored by other preschool mothers, and by taking a chance and joining a small group…something changed. I heard about the struggles and joys of group members and saw how God was working in their lives. I experienced authentic Christian community and came to see myself as His. Since 1985, I have been in too many small groups to count, each has been as unique as the individuals in the group and each absolutely essential to my faith journey. Because of my experience, I know the power of Christian community and hope this is reflected in Adult Discipleship and through our work in supporting Small Group Leaders, connecting new members to groups, and in other avenues designed to deepen discipleship through classes, workshops, establishing mentoring pairings, and the Movie Discussion Group.
The four Presbyterian Preschool children that originally connected me to First Presbyterian are now young adults and in this new stage of life, when not working, I love finding time to read, go to movies, walk with friends, travel and camp with my husband, Bob.