God is still writing stories at Engage.

“I am a warm fuzzy type of person who needs to feel connected, loves relationships and shies away from situations where I feel intimidated.  Instantly at Engage I felt a sense of acceptance and comfort.  I loved the mission of Engage, the people of Engage and the vision of Engage right away.

My priority right now in life is my boys, so of course I was obsessively worried about how they would do at a different church with different people,etc.  It took my son almost 3 years not to cry and grip my leg when we would leave him at our previous church.  Put it this way, we now refer to Engage as Mimi’s church.  Mimi was the first person to approach our oldest son and he just fell in love with her the first Sunday.  There have been Sundays when he hasn’t wanted to come home with us and would rather stay in his Sunday school class.  Our youngest son’s class went well too…Kristen and Aimee made him/I feel at peace and we all went home excited, hopeful and relieved that the morning had not been a nightmare for the kids.

You asked how Engage has changed me?  I would say Engage has opened my eyes and heart to a life I had not been open to before.  I have never been surrounded by so many people that are motivated and driven by helping others find a relationship with Jesus without it being pushy or forced. . . I look for ways I can help others to show them a kindness they may not know.”

 

“I like Engage because it is a comfortable atmosphere that makes it easy to build friendships and ask difficult questions (though I haven’t actually had the courage to raise my hand and ask a question yet, the topics get me thinking about my beliefs, which is something I haven’t done for a very long time, if ever). So thank you for that.  So why did I start going to Engage? Well, I am at a point in my life that I would like to discover my beliefs and build a relationship with God. I am trying to become a more positive person. Nothing in particular has happened to bring this about, I was just invited to your church at a perfect time. Since the first time I went, I knew I would love it and feel comfortable there. And I’m meeting the most wonderful people!  I would like to get my husband involved too. Like myself, he was not raised in a religious environment, so it might a little difficult to get him interested. I know he would like you a lot because you very down-to-earth friendly people. I think he might be intimidated because he doesn’t want to feel like someone is pushing their own beliefs on him or looking down on him for not being very religious…but I know he wouldn’t feel that way with you. I think it would also help strengthen our marriage . . .”

“Through the years I have received numerous invitations from friends and acquaintances to visit their churches.  I was never compelled to do so.  My parents were not church goers and rarely discussed their belief (or lack there of) in God.  I have always believed Jesus was a unique and special person who did amazing things during his short time on this Earth.  I’ve never quite bought into the whole “son of God” thing.  I’m an extremely factually-based thinker and having faith without proof takes me out of my comfort zone.  However, through the years certain events and happenings have made me question coincidence versus God’s work.  I think my faith has been lying dormant for years and it’s just starting to stir.

Shortly before the official launch on January 11, Matt Tuckey shared some information with me about Engage.  It sounded interesting to me.  Matt later sent me an email invite to the launch.  When I went to the Engage website and started reading about Engage, I was compelled to check it out.  Looking back, I was amazed at myself for walking into a situation where I didn’t know anyone and had no knowledge of what the Engage experience would be like.  But I had this feeling that I needed to attend and bring my children also.  I was so surprised when I did not feel out of place or labeled as the “newbie”.  I enjoyed the service immensely and my children asked, “Can we come every Sunday?”

Engage is a non-judgmental, non-threatening community where I can explore my faith and beliefs and spend time with genuine people who are there as a resource and support for my journey.  It’s hard not to feel like Engage was designed specifically for me.  So far, my involvement with Engage has been attendance at Sunday service primarily.  However, I’ve already noticed changes in my perspective of daily activities and more of an awareness of my own actions.  And I feel the potential is there for so much more.  It’s all up to me.

To the Engage leadership team – I greatly appreciate all you have done and all you continue to do.  Without you there would be no Engage and I would still be writing off God’s work as coincidence.”

Before we came to Engage, we were unsure of what we believed.  We had been Catholic all of our lives, but had so many questions and doubts about Christianity.  We decided to leave the Catholic church, and took some time off of church altogether.   When we began to search again, we didn’t care if where we ended up was Christian or not.  We just knew we needed a community of people to do life with in the best way we could.  When we first walked in to Engage, we both felt immediately comfortable and welcomed.  The only thing that we weren’t too sure about was the fact that is was Christian.  We asked a question on our first Sunday, a question making it obvious about how skeptical we were, and nobody responded like they were disgusted that we could ask a question like that!  In fact, it was welcomed! This day began our journey of coming to know who Jesus really is through endless questions, great conversations, and friends who would walk through life with us in ways that we never could have imagined.