We're Presbyterians!

Jack and I officially joined University Presbyterian Church this morning, which is really exciting and makes me feel the most optimistic I've felt about living in Baton Rouge since we got here a year and a half ago. It marks a change in denomination for each of us, which I would have thought would be weird but turns out not to be at all. He used to be a Methodist, and I an Episcopalian, but we've found this church in Baton Rouge that's the closest thing I think we could have found to a perfect church home. The pastor is a strong, graceful woman who is preaching beautiful, inspired sermons every Sunday in between weeks of her husband's chemotherapy for very serious cancer. The congregation is liberal enough for us without being closed off to other opinions, and everyone there has done a great deal to make us feel welcome, even from the first day we visited back in March. Dr. Giger, one of my music history professors, suggested that we attend, and I'm SO glad I took him up on it. I had been expressing my frustration to him about the Episcopal churches in Louisiana, since we had visited three congregations who were all ready to split with the national church over the Bishop Robinson situation (the openly gay bishop in New Hampshire). It was obvious to me after a while that the Louisiana Episcopal church wasn't going to be the same as the church I had grown up in, so we were ready to look elsewhere, which is when we followed Dr. Giger's suggestion and gave UPC a shot. It couldn't have worked out better. We'd been thinking almost from the beginning that we wanted to join this church, but we tried it out for a few months before taking the plunge. We finally had a chance this past Thursday to sit down with the pastor, Patti, and we had a very meaningful conversation about what backgrounds we had each come from, what we were looking for, why we wanted to join, etc. We went, along with a few other newbies, to the Session meeting this morning before the service, we reaffirmed our faith and pledged ourselves to serving Christ through this congregation, and then they did a little thing during the service where they had us come forward to be introduced as new members for the first time. They had an open house for new members from the past few years at the gorgeous home of these really nice people in the congregation, so we went to that this afternoon and met some more people, had some good coffee and dessert, etc. All in all, it's been a very fulfilling few days, and we both feel really comfortable with our decision. Now they're going to start getting us to serve on committees, which Dr. Perry (also a UPC member) has described as one of the Presbyterian sacraments. =) Anyway, be happy for us. We have a new church home, and we just love it.




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