I grew up in a very faithful household. We were Protestant and belonged to a large local church. I even attended a Christian elementary for a few years in my youth. My brother, who is six years older than me and someone I had spent my whole life looking up to, felt called into the ministry at a young age. While I was struggling with questions about my religion and church, my brother was studying and learning about something new to us-- the Orthodox Church. As a recent high school graduate, I was beginning to feel a deep rift with the church I had been raised in. My brother moved home from his Protestant seminary and invited me to start attending an Orthodox Church with him.
"My faith had been strong, but I had questions my church could not answer."
It was love at first sight, smell, touch… I was at an age where I wanted to know “Why” about everything. My faith had been strong, but I had questions my church could not answer. For the first time I was in a church that could.
My journey from my first visit at an Orthodox Church to St. Mary Magdalene’s took me through a difficult time in my life. By the time I finally joined the church I was a young single mother in college. I am happy to say that I have been with this church since its very first day, in the small chapel at St. John’s. Here, I have a second family.
"...the people in this community have wrapped me in love, encouragement, and most importantly, understanding."
My son is now in high school, I am married, have a step-son, and two more children in elementary school. When my children were very young, it often seemed difficult to make it to church, but the people in this community have wrapped me in love, encouragement, and most importantly, understanding. These people are not just my fellow congregants, they are my children’s godparents, my fellow Church School teachers, my students, and my friends.