This is my church, this is my home

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This is my church, this is my home. These people are like family to me, my soul brothers and sisters. I have laughed and cried, felt anguish and great grief, healing and relief. There have been fervent prayers, many hours of service, life and death moments, and lots of learning and growing. I learned what a small group is – and found it to be a lasting family – even long after our small groups dispersed.

I am one of the first here, back when we were meeting ECC. I was actually tithing to this church when I lived still in California – I was so attached to the vulnerability and authenticity of West Ridge. That was 18 years ago! We’ve survived many challenges, difficult chapters, took a break, came back. I’ve seen real life, mistakes and compassion played out time and again.

Life is hard, and that is a fact. But community keeps us afloat. Relationships and authentic communication and reaching out keeps us connected and supported. Many fear judgement or rejection if they expose their “true” selves, but here at West Ridge, we are all equally messy. Somehow grace has a way of healing us and allowing us to leave behind our past junk and embrace the truth of who we truly are – living breathing creations of the one true God, designed to do good works to glorify our Father in heaven.

It’s been an honor and a privilege to see our good works played out through messed up people – and to see God glorified through this community in a very real way. I used to struggle with Darren’s “I’m a messed up sinner just like you” approach. Catholicism taught me that the pastor should be someone on a pedestal, set apart from us – to aspire to. But what Jesus has taught me through Darren’s life and teaching is that through humility and vulnerability we find our true power and strength in Christ. There is no superior being on this earth. We are all created uniquely by our Father to do what only we can on this planet. West Ridge has given me the gift of grace and acceptance.   It is why I will always consider this place my home. Happy Birthday West Ridge!!

Carole Lyon

Categories: Blog, Community

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