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During Stewardship season, several parishioners share their stories of what St. Francis parish means to them. Here is one story:

Good morning, my name is Michele Beudert, I am a Godly Play teacher and I am new here. I teach Sunday School. Godly Play allows us to wonder about God, his people and his Son.
As I was preparing the Story of Ruth for the children, I wondered why God’s people were often traveling into the desert to a new place to find food.
So “I wonder…”

I wonder about St Francis. He has always been with me. I grew up in a very Catholic family and saints were important and no saint was more important than Francis. My father, my grandfather, my aunt, my great aunts and uncles, my mother and in my generation the name is there. It is part of my name and it is my grandson’s name. Francis seemed to be everywhere.
As a young teenager, at a very difficult time in my life I discovered the prayer Lord make me an instrument of peace and I knew that this was the way to be a loving person. I read and say the prayer a lot it is part of my fiber and I find comfort. (page 833 in the BCP and 1456 in my father’s missal)
Just more than twenty years ago, I participated in a woman’s retreat the message was Sorrow/Joy and I was at a very joyful time in my life. Within a week my husband was diagnosed with unsurvivable cancer. There was the SORROW and I knew I needed to find the JOY and that I needed to live with that joy in my life going forward.

So I wonder why this St Francis? Eighteen months ago I knew things were changing in my church home and I would need to find a new place to worship and feel safe. A friend suggested that I come here for the Easter egg hunt, so I came with my five grandchildren and my six adult children. It was a great day and one of my daughters-in-law (the only person in my family I have any kind of spiritual conversations) said you should worship here look at all the wonderful things they do.
So when this past Lent I started to look in earnest for a new church home I came here. Raphaelle was right it is a wonderful place, the sermons, the music, the love, the care, the inclusion.
And what is most important is that on Sunday we hear

We break this bread for those who journey the way of Sikhs and Hindus, for those who follow the path of the Buddha, for our sisters and brothers of Islam, for the Jewish people from whom we come, and for all who walk the way of faith.

Because in my family I have grandchildren that have a Muslim father, a Jewish mother, a few random Christians parents and a Unitarian Universalist mother .

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