I’m unsure where I learned this, but there is a saying that goes something like this: We can make our plans, but the Lord determines the step. And for me, that was true. My plan was to relearn how to be single after becoming and empty-nester and a widow. Knowing that there would be ups and downs, I was looking for the “something” that could ground me through those down times and carry on more of the up times, so I stepped toward the familiar.
Meeting people was part of my daily work world, and one volunteer meeting opportunity brought a gentleman to the table who exuded a quiet confidence and an invitation to those gathered to find consensus. As our time together grew, we began to talk about our professions. I shuddered when he said he was a minister, as memories of my childhood religious experiences bounced into my head. That rearview mirror view of religion that kept me away from the church for a long time was reinforced as an adult when my husband, who was Catholic, had to disavow his childhood religion when he got divorced and because he did not agree with some societal positions of that denomination.
Rev. Gary Miller belied all my former religious opinions, so I thought, Why not visit this church? Perhaps this is what I’ve been searching for. Printed map in hand, I arrived on Dixieland Jazz Sunday to a large, vibrant, and welcoming congregation. I have taken some missteps on my faith journey, but there was no question that this step was the right one. Wow! I found many people that I knew from work, and they’ve guided me through the opportunities of member/volunteer/leader at Asylum Hill Congregational Church. I have found this community to be strengthening and authentic in their commitments to each other, the neighborhood, the city of Hartford, and the denomination. That’s why, ten years after walking through those blue doors, I still find myself joyfully stepping in and stepping up to share the work, and to do what needs to be done.