Feeling WelcomeWhen I first went to Deer Lake United Church, I felt apprehensive, because I hadn't been to church in a very long time. As I walked in the door, I was welcomed by a lady who greeted me as a newcomer and this made me feel very comfortable. I was given a program and proceeded to seat myself. It didn't take very long for me to feel like I was part of the congregation. When Pastor Scott spoke, he was very interesting and held my attention, which really confirmed why I wanted to be there. I'm also working with Michael Hejazi on the CE brochure for the church (He is Carli's fiance' - do you know him. Neat guy - you and Michael would likely really enjoy this couple if you connected. Anyway, once finished we should get this brochure online as well. It is complete overview of all the educational opportunities at DLUC.
As I sit to right this just now, I feel tears starting to fill my eyes. Tears of longing for the home and family I miss, and tears of happiness for the caring community I have found. I recently moved here from Nova Scotia, and have struggled with being away from my family and friends. In a search for a sense-of-belonging, I happened upon Deer Lake United Church. This congregation instantly embraced me with an unconditional welcome, and heart-warming friendship. Deer Lake has offered me a fellowship that has provided me with both community and strength.
My life has a lot of darkness in it, and although I love to sing and do sing elsewhere during the week, I have been wanting to look for God and his son in music..as that is how I express things that are deeply important in my life..so it was a privilege to find a little church close to home with such friendly people, such an approachable minister and also such a joyful inviting choir. Music stirs my soul, lifts my spirits and is a wonderful opportunity to share music with others. During the times that I can not participate, my heart is lifted by a memory of a song that we sang, or the thought of the music that the choir is learning for next Sunday. Where there is music, I am home...thus Deer Lake has become a church home for me. I like to see the families about me, and I enjoy hearing what Scott has to say "today". I enjoyed seeing the angels at Christmas that were made by some members. Coming to this church feels good, it feels right. It feels special. Plus it also feels "Canadian" to me, with an inclusive outlook, an acceptance of other cultures in the world. It has a deep desire for peace in one's heart, in one self, and in family, in friendship, in community, in the country and in the world. These values reflected my own. A safe place to learn to worship God and sing about his message.
God and His Son in Music
Two Churches and Two CulturesMy husband, a Canadian born in Scotland, and I, have raised our children in Canada. But now that they are grown it is time to have other meanings and purpose in life. This search has led me to look for God, as well as heritage as well as citizenship. Deer Lake United Church in my experience is a warm and friendly and accepting place in which I can explore my husband's heritage, and also hopefully increase and enrich my sense of connectedness to Canadian ways. It is also such an accepting place in which I feel comfortable not coming every week, as I have now also become a new member of the Danish Lutheran church which is nearby..a church in which I can explore my heritage, and its culture as well. I find it very easy to be part of both churches, and am very pleased that they are both so compatible and so welcoming. They both seem to be Liberal in thought, and that is what I was searching for. I feel comfortable to be in Deer Lake Church on some Sundays, and in the Danish Lutheran on others. To me, a wonderful way to be a Danish Canadian in the true sense of the word. Belonging to both cultures, both worlds, as they are both welcoming churches that reflect Gods Love. And also both filled with music.
A Smaller ChurchMy experience as a newcomer to Deer Lake United Church??? Well...I came one day to this little church that I had previously noticed while out walking. One sunny Sunday my curiosity led me to open the door. Perhaps I could find God better here??? In my search for an approachable church...and maybe eventually even a church home, I realized that I was interested in a smaller church, one in my community, AND one that had a choir that would definitely be casual and hopefully fun to sing in. I was thinking about, and very interested, in an easy going, comfortable, happy place to go to learn more about this God that is so new to me. This little church spoke to me to come in, sit down, and join right in in the singing. The next thing I knew, I was wanting to come again, and hoping soon to be able to join the singers up front on a Sunday and sing about Joy, about Peace about Hope. And to sing about Love.
At this time of my life I am searching for deeper connectedness and deeper meaning and purpose in my life. Besides wanting to feel more Canadian in a Canadian church, I am also searching for more Danish traditions, for a stronger sense of connectedness to Denmark, the country in which I was born. Although I was 6 years old when I came, I grew up feeling neither Danish nor Canadian...quite lost, not belonging to either culture. And although I spoke to God I did not know him. Thus my life has been about searching out a sense of connectedness to both countries and also to God....because I did not want to belong to just one or the other country and also did not feel I belonged to god.
Special little church that you are...your inviting and welcoming ways have enriched my sense of connectedness and belonging. Your music with God's message has sustained me. I came out of curiosity one day, and felt that I might be able to fit right in. In coming to you, you have helped me feel more a child of God than when I started this journey while out walking one sunny day, when I started to think more deeply about God..and wonder how to find him...and saw your front door.
A Child of God