The Body of Christ is alive and well wherever we go!
Due to God’s calling, my parents left my community of baptism and I ended up attending and experiencing worship and activities of many churches by living in three different states as a child and teenager, and then in two more states while following my husband in his career. Each church had one thing in common: To minister to those in need and to spread the God News! While methodology may have differed, they set an example of Roman 12:4-5, “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members of one of another.”
Because I had to leave my extended family where I was born and again when I married, the church became like a family to me. The elders who taught catechism, the Sunday School teachers who taught the stories of strong Biblical role models, and the youth leaders who taught how to incorporate my religion into my daily life, supplemented the prayers and bible readings at each meal every day at home.
After high school, the challenges of nursing school tested everything I was taught but everything I was taught gave me strength to resist the peer pressures that come to a young adult. Finally, traveling 3000 miles away from everything I knew, I found a community of faith in a church that challenged the parts of my religion and beliefs that were perhaps not so good. There were walls of prejudice that had to be torn down. I am forever grateful to that community for being patient with me as I grieved and let go of those feelings deep inside of me.
Returning to the East, I found a church that welcomed my family and helped me to continue to grow in a faith that made me more sensitive to others and what they needed. In Grace, I found a church to be just as supportive and educational and willing to accept my gifts and services as I use what I have learned over the years to be a part of the body of Christ.
The church as a body extends throughout the world, feeding and molding us as we age and life changes.
Prayer: Lord, help keep our church alive in service to you, here and around the world! Amen!
Phyllis L. Verderame
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.