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  • Adam MacNeil

Why this Faith Matters at All

During my time in elementary and secondary school I had a few different groups of friends in which I was always identified as the ‘Churchy’ one. I can remember being in kindergarten when all my classmates were playing with blocks or lego, and I was off to the side playing ‘Communion’. It wasn’t until high school that I began to feel uncomfortable with being labelled the ‘Churchy’ one in the friend group. Identifying as a follower of Jesus indeed felt unsettling when some of my friends thought Christianity to be judgmental, controlling, exclusive, manipulative, or simply boring. I did not want to be associated with this characterization, most importantly because in my experience of faith and Church, it was simply NOT true. I quickly discovered that I needed to develop the language to articulate why I was drawn to following Christ and his way of compassion, mercy, humility, service, community, and love. This pilgrimage of faith was made possible by the faithful, generous, and nurturing community of Church of the Resurrection.

Church of the Resurrection has been my Church home for as long as I can remember. My family joined COTR as likely one of the first official newcomers that weren’t already members of either two parishes which had amalgamated: St. Timothy’s and St. Bartholomew’s. Over the years, the seed of faith in me grew as I went to Sunday School, sang in the Children’s Choir, had the opportunity to become a server, joined the Youth Group, and many other areas of ministry. In hindsight I now can say that what shaped me and my faith most was not necessarily the opportunities I had to intellectually learn about who God is and what it means to follow Jesus, but it was in week-to-week moments of noticing how the people in this community led by example: following Jesus and revealing God’s abundant love in our midst. It was in the relationships formed in this community that I was able to know why this faith matters at all.

Like all of us, I spent many years growing up in a society which prioritizes learning to speak. What has been the greatest gift of growing in faith at Church of the Resurrection is learning how to listen. The values of diversity and inclusivity at COTR have been profoundly important as we learn to listen to those who are different from us. In a world where we are encouraged to be driven by individual success, I have learned that the way of Jesus is an incredible invitation to know the truth of our lives- that we aren’t created merely to serve ourselves. The people of Church of the Resurrection know this and live it out in word and action. I am grateful and excited to continue to be shaped by Church of the Resurrection as we seek to be the hands and feet of Christ feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, advocating for the oppressed, and serving the God who has a place for all at the table.

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