At St. Philip the Deacon since: My wife Carol and I have been members of St Philip since 1983, when we moved to the Twin Cities. We visited a few churches that summer but knew on our first visit that St. Philip would be our church home. We’ve made a few moves since then (one across the Atlantic and back) but St. Philip has always remained our church home.
What is your faith background? Carol grew up Presbyterian. The church home of her youth was the Bethany Presbyterian Church of Grundy Center, Iowa (the church of her parents and both grandparents). I grew up Methodist. I had a bit more variety growing up (we moved to 8 cities between my kindergarten and sophomore years in school), but finally settled at the United Methodist Church in Grundy Center (the church of my mom and her parents). Carol went to St. Olaf College so the transition to St. Philip was a seamless one for her. After a few months I found that I enjoyed the liturgy and pacing of the Lutheran worship service very much.
I love St. Philip the Deacon because: The church is constantly evolving yet staying true to its core strengths. We were first drawn to the church through its music. Over the years the music programs have grown in terms of quality, quantity and variety and turned into a wonderful diversity of sound. The heavens truly open up when Linda is at the keyboard of the organ or when the SPD Quartet harmonizes or when John shares a new piece he has composed for us. The St. Philip youth program is another core strength of the church. I’ve been involved with the youth programs off and on since 1984 and I’m constantly amazed at the quality of our outstanding staff. While many churches would find building on these two strengths an admirable goal, St. Philip has continually expanded its focus on service as well. Like the music program, over the years the church has created a wonderful diversity of ways its serves the community and the greater world. When you wrap that up with four pastors who can provide unique insights into faith and life each Saturday/Sunday/Monday you have quite a church!
Have you ever been surprised by God? I’m constantly surprised by how God’s focus on forgiveness can lift me up when I’ve fallen and how His focus on community, through His church, re-energizes me.
If you could meet God face-to-face, what would you want to ask? How do you stay so patient with us your creation (I have two teenagers so I could use a dash of that everlasting patience God exhibits).