"Our son, Buddy, died February 22, 1992 of AIDS. He was 30 years old. He was a beautiful, energetic, talented little blond boy, the delight of his parents, teachers and especially of his grandfather, “Big Jim.” The years preceding Buddy’s death were very difficult. He went from top honor role at Landon School to living on the streets."
A couple of years ago on Father’s Day, I participated in my regular Sunday mass in Washington. It was similar to any other one, except for the visiting Bishop who was celebrating that Sunday. And during his homily the bishop wished all the fathers present a Happy Father’s Day.
"Good Morning everyone. Thank you for this chance to share my Faith Story. It has been a prompt for me to ask myself questions like why Catherine and I and our two girls come to St. Columba's every Sunday? What am I looking for? I'll tell the story in two parts: the first is about where church fit into my life when I was young and the second compares that to my life today..."
"Good Morning, St. Columba’s family. Between the ages of 2 and 3, and later during holidays and summer vacations, I spent lots of time with my maternal grandparents in the small rural town of Ringgold, Virginia. Being there was wonderful for me. My grandparents kept the family house and farm for my great grandfather and the rest of his children, after my great grandmother died at an early age. Monday through Friday, my great uncles and cousins worked the farm, tended to the mules, the cows, the hogs and the chickens ..."
"Good Morning, My family and I have been members here at St. Columba's since 2009. Like some of the others who have shared faith stories here before, I too was raised in the Episcopal Church. In the Church, I actually had several different families of different sizes. And each of these families helped inspire and instill in me a deep sense of service to others. My parents in fact chose their careers focused on serving others ..."
"Good morning! Almost one year ago, I walked into a hospital room where a dear childhood friend lay dying of cancer. Having the opportunity to sit next to Christine’s bed, to hold her hand, talk to her and pray with she and Brooks, has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. It has been sacred moments such as this one where I have had the privilege of entering into the life of another during a vulnerable time, and where I have felt Christ sitting beside me and sharing in the pain, beauty and surrender ..."
"Our family, my husband Roland Hoover, and our two daughters Sarah and Emily, were drawn to St. Columba’s in 1976 by the excellent music programs and the added bonus of the Rector Bill Swing. Recalling my faith story, I realize how important family, music, especially singing ,and prayer has been in this journey ..."
"Hello everybody. I want to tell you that one of the most important moments of my life in faith actually happened right over there, on the blue seats at the side of the Nave, on a summer Sunday just a few years ago. You might even have been here when that moment happened, but you probably don't remember. In keeping with the exuberant and charismatic traditions of our faith, when I felt the life-changing epiphany, I said nothing at all."
"I am going to tell you about a life-changing event that led to a conversion experience for me. I had suffered a massive stroke about thirty years ago. The context is important. Terry and I were empty nesters. We were very involved in our careers. We drove into work together and drove back home together. Whoever had to work latest ..."
"Good Morning, My name is Grant McNavagwe and I am a junior at BCC High School. When I was first asked to present my faith story, I was puzzled. I didn't hesitate to accept, but I was pretty nervous. All the other times I have been on this podium somebody else from a few thousand years ago has already taken the liberty of writing the story. To be completely honest, I really haven't experienced that much in my life yet ..."
"Is my faith really deep enough to talk about? Do I have a vocabulary to make what I feel sound spiritual enough? Is my faith strong enough to be examined deeply? My faith did not come to me as a transformational experience; it's been with me since childhood. I think of it as a kind of smoldering fire that every now and then sparks up ..."
"Good Morning Everybody, My history of faith is brief but not so spectacular, I would think. My first memory of any church was in New York where I lived. My mother was recently divorced from my father which I didn't know at the time. I would not declare truth or fiction as to whether there truly was a Santa Claus. We were walking home from The Brick Presbytarian Church where we theoretically were members on 91st Street in Manhattan and my mother would neither confirm nor deny that this character of Santa Claus ever existed.
"My name is Jennifer Turner. Thank you for listening to this attempt to put something about my faith into words. One of my favorite writers and theologians, Frederick Buechner, says "Faith is better understood as a verb than as a noun, as a process than as a possession. It is on-again-off-again rather than once-and-for-all. Faith is not being sure where you are going, but going anyway. A journey without maps." I like thinking of my faith as a verb, as winding paths of present participles, loving, seeking, serving, sinning, repenting, praying, doubting ..."
"Good morning everyone. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jessica Mullery. My husband and I have been attending St. C's for about 3 years now. I don't have a major conversion story, but as we enter Stewardship season I wanted to share an area of my life where God has turned my heart. I have always been a frugal person.
"I grew up a very lucky child, in a loving Catholic family in Iowa, the second son of five children. As a boy, I remember saying the rosary as a family quite often, particularly in the car on the weekly trip home from my grandparent’s house. My mom’s brother was a priest and theologian, and both my parents avid readers and debaters, so there was always plenty of religious talk around the family dinner table ..."
"When Kate asked me to share my faith story, only one word came to mind … exposed. You see, I’ve listened to faith stories–moving and eloquent accounts of spiritual journeys and moments of epiphany. I’ve heard those stories and now it’s supposed to be my turn. But what do I have to share?
"When I was about 11 years old, I asked my father when was the last time he cried. So one important thing about my dad is that he is a pastor in the Moravian Church. Moravians are an old, but small, Protestant denomination that you may not have encountered if you didn't grow up in Winston Salem, NC like I did, or in and around Bethlehem, PA. As an eleven year old, I was embarrassed to cry ..."
"My brother Chris died in a car accident when he was 19. He had just returned to Delaware, where we grew up, from what was supposed to be a gap year between high school and college which he spent sailing in the Caribbean and South America. He had been having the time of his life. I was 22 at the time, and on top of the world myself. I was in law school in Chicago and it was going well.
"I have been at St. Columba’s for over 30 years now. I am a cradle Episcopalian. My father was a career military officer, and as a result we lived all over the world, including Central America, where I became keenly aware of the great gulf between rich and poor, and the wrongness of that fact. It was a formative experience, and has a lot to do with my choosing clinical social work as a profession..."
"Good Morning, My name is Marti Villarreal. A little background: I am a cradle Episcopalian with several lapses. I have been active in the parishes where ever I have lived: Augusta, GA, Columbia, SC and Washington, DC; St. Augusta in SW and here. Our family has been at St. Columba's since 1978, but this story begins earlier in 1963. I was 27. I came to DC from Columbia, SC in early 1963 which is ancient history for many of you; it was before the Civil Rights Act, also probably before cell phones ..."
"My faith story is a love story. I grew up feeling loved and believing in a loving God, thanks in large part to my devoutly Catholic mother and paternal grandmother. I came to St. Columba’s by way of the Mothers’ Group in September 2001 with our two small boys and felt a sense of loving acceptance, as if I was home. In those early years we were under the radar, just regular Sunday members – first in the Great Hall and then in the Nave.
"I like rules. I’ve liked rules for as long as I can remember, and I grew up into a person who basically thinks about rules for a living. But as a kid, being a steadfast rule-follower meant that I was constantly concerned about making mistakes. So when I was in middle school and my friend Liz invited me to a youth group activity at her church, I said 'yes,' mainly because I thought she was cool and saying 'no' seemed like it would be a big social mistake..."
"Sharing my faith story reminds me of when I was an organizational development leader and we would roll out a new leadership program. For the first iteration, the strongest, most promising leaders attended. As the program became established, other leaders came – the ones struggling more with their skills or way of being. I feel a little bit like that today. The living “saints” of our wonderful parish have told their story. Now I get to try ..."
"Good morning, everyone! Apart from attendance at a memorial service for a friend who was a parishioner of St. Columba’s some years ago, I first attended St. Columba’s in the late spring of 2018, following a difficult period earlier in the year, when I had been hospitalized for many nights. I hale from Nova Scotia, grew up in Toronto, and being brought up as an Anglican, it was natural for me to join you lot when I moved to the United States some four decades ago.
"Good Morning! Shortly after I agreed to tell my faith story, well really almost immediately after I had agreed, I had a thought and maybe some of you can relate to this. I thought: Wait, did I just say yes? But here I am and I'd like to share a part of my faith story. It's the part I think about often, especially during stewardship season ..."
"When they asked me to speak of my faith story, I took a look to see what Mark Twain had to say about faith. He says, “Faith is believing in things that you just know are not true.” And I can really relate to that … a doubting Thomas, for sure. I probably became most acutely aware of the presence of God in my life when I was in law school ..."
"My name is Stephen Smith, and I’ve been coming to St. Columba’s since at least 2001. I’ve been a member of the choir throughout that time and have served at various points as treasurer, a vestry member, junior warden, and now as senior warden. This is meant to be a faith story, and I guess things don’t get a lot more personal than that. So let me start with a confession. I enjoy public speaking. But, when Jason asked me to speak here — today — about my faith — it felt a little like getting picked for jury duty ..."
“Growing up I didn’t think much about my faith. My father was in the foreign service, and I lived most of my childhood and early teen years in Mexico, Brazil, Columbia and Ecuador. With the exception of my fourth and fifth grade years, we only went to church when we were visiting grandparents in the states ..."
"My husband, Dick and I came to St. Columba’s in 1979. We were in deep distress over our older son’s addiction to alcohol and drugs. Dick needed church. I was angry at God. I would sit in the back pews and not participate. We were both working in challenging jobs–the major focus in our lives. In 1987, Dick suffered a major stroke ..."
I would like to talk to you this morning about how my volunteering at Samaritan Ministry has helped me see connections between the words I say here and my behavior beyond these walls. I have not always felt this consistency. For quite a while, I felt a disturbing disconnect between words and deeds.
"So my faith journey begins in Nashville, TN at a large Methodist church, in a city known as the “buckle on the bible belt,” or the “Protestant Vatican.” … Now as a Protestant, I was raised to accept our direct access to God through a shared priesthood of all believers. This is why we refer to this entire parish as the ministers of St. Columba’s, and not just the ordained members. More simply put, I was born with this great gift of having God essentially on speed dial 24/7 ..."