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Joan Hopper

We heard the message from the pulpit that God is always with us and will bear our burdens.

Church was a big part of my life from a young child through high school. I was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal church, attending church school and youth group until college.  In college my church attendance was sporadic at best.

Once Denny and I were married, reading the newspaper became our Sunday morning routine. It wasn’t until our daughters asked us why we couldn’t go to church like the other kids, that our faith journey as a family began. We became members of a local Presbyterian church. Our daughters attended church school and sang in the youth choir, and I became a deacon. All was well until it wasn’t. A friend encouraged us to visit Asylum Hill Congregational Church and all it took was one visit and we were hooked. We were so captivated by the message and the incredible music that accompanied the service that we couldn’t wait to join.

In our past church experiences, sermon time equaled “tune-out time.” But the sermons were amazing — very inspirational with lots of advice from a “good source” on how we should live our lives. It was at this time that God became real to me.

I later joined the staff as the part-time parish visitor to our elderly members who could no longer attend church on Sundays. I accepted the position and began my ministry serving those who had given their time, talent, and financial resources to our wonderful church in their younger years. I found these visits extremely rewarding and loved being part of the staff and an integral part of church happenings.

We heard the message from the pulpit that God is always with us and will bear our burdens if we allow God to help guide us on life’s journey, we need only ask. Now, when I struggle with anything, I ask God to be my co-pilot to show me the way. What a relief this has been for me, knowing I am not alone on the journey. I try to keep in mind the Bible verse Romans 8:28: “All things work together for the good of them that love the Lord.”