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Plugging In

By: Ellen Perkey
 
When my husband Jason and I started looking for a church home after we were married we settled on SHPC. We loved the family kind of feel that we had when we sat in service and the alive feeling in the sanctuary during worship. We came from very different religious backgrounds; I grew up immersed in the church my whole life, attending not only Sunday service at our Methodist congregation but also Wednesday night meeting and children’s programming. Jason’s family was intermittent in attendance and didn’t participate much outside of Sunday worship. We began our time at SHPC with a long, long time of being visitors (7 years) and minimal involvement in activity outside of attending worship a few times a month.  
 
 
Although we both felt early on that Shepherd of the Hills was our church home we didn’t really develop the feeling of a church family until we began to be involved in our small group and other programs. We found a small group of other young adults that was holding a Bible study and we joined in. Being connected to that group of people, all of whom we count as friends still, changed so much for us. Instead of the church feeling like a group worship it became more of a place to serve and to be served. Ever since then our church family has grown wider, from the people who care for our children and love them to those we serve on committees and mission with. Connection in our church gave us a community that we needed.
 
 
We didn’t realize at the time when we were just beginning to attend church that we would eventually build a deep connection to so many people in the church. I could list off 10 or 20 people that I could call on in an emergency to help our family or our kids. When we walk into church we spend almost as much time connecting with people as we do worshipping. Fellowship in our church family has become such a powerful, tangible thing for us. Our roots in the church give us stability in our life outside of church that is hard to find in our current disconnected culture.
 
 
Find a way to become connected in your church home, join a class or small group, participate in a mission, volunteer for greeting duty or hospitality. What you may find is that you are planting the seed of something that will keep expanding and root you deeply in our community of people. Plugging is about finding that balance in serving and being served that draws us closer to God through our church family.