“Service after service we feel more and more a part of Transfiguration’s church family. Bridging across generations and cultures, the gifts of community in this parish intertwines within our own family life.”
Shopping around for churches means getting some serious swag. The Methodists ply you with fresh baked bread, the Lutherans with coffee and crullers, and the non-denominational mega churches pull out all the stops with mugs, key chains, and a glossy brochure that includes instructions on the best places to park. Our heads were spinning from all the choices.
When we were invited to attend a service at Transfiguration, we expected the same bag of goodies. No swag bag was presented, at least not the kind we had grown accustomed to receiving. Instead, the Fig presented us on our first visit, and at every service since, with the feeling of “home.” You know that welling up of place and poignancy that happens when you get your first apartment, meet your new child, or see your mom after a really long time? That feeling.
And the books. That first service I walked out and saw the bookstore nestled in the corner of the gathering area. I made a beeline for it and immediately bought “the manual” (otherwise known as The Book of Common Prayer) that went along with the “production” of the service. Seriously. A book that goes with this church? Count me in.
My husband, raised Southern Baptist, was always a little more than curious about what went on in the mysterious Episcopal church located in the tiny West Texas town where he grew up. After our first visit here, the curtain was lifted to reveal the ceremony and inclusiveness of the Episcopal Church, and we were hooked. The Fig quickly became our family’s church home.
Growing up at the Fig, our daughters continue to amaze us in their commitment to faith and in their understanding of what it means to serve. That kind of upbringing can only happen at a church that welcomes all…really welcomes all with open hearts and a willingness to reach out and understand across the lines that could otherwise divide us.
Preferring to remain ‘backstage’ for the Fig production, I serve on the Altar Guild. Serving has been a joy, and I frequently receive forgiveness for the many transgression I have committed such as forgetting the name of the plate thingy that holds the wafers, and leaving a smear of lipstick on the otherwise pristine linen used to wipe the chalice. Ella, our 12-year-old daughter, chooses to be “on stage,” so she serves at the altar, and Rena, who is at the prime babysitting age of 15, regularly helps with Children’s Chapel.
Service after service we feel more and more a part of Transfiguration’s church family. Bridging across generations and cultures, the gifts of community in this parish intertwines within our own family life. We remain thankful for such welcoming, doors-always-open, inclusive people who make up the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration.