June 28, 2017

Home is Where the Heart Is

Home is Where the Heart Is
Mike & Gerry Rogers

IMG_5109Gerry was raised Southern Baptist and Mike, Presbyterian. After moving to St Louis for Mike’s job at Monsanto in 1980, we attended Presbyterian and Disciples of Christ churches. Several years ago, our chosen DofC church was nearing the end of its corporate life and we decided to look for a new church home. For us, a church’s denomination has always been less important than the makeup of the congregation. We were looking for a congregation that would help us grow our faith rather than one that would try to convert us to their particular beliefs.

In the process of church “shopping” we attended many different services with a variety of worship practices. In one, the pastor announced from the pulpit that Jesus likes Americans best; in another very formal service, we certainly did not feel comfortable or at home. We had been aware of Parkway UCC for many years. One of our two daughters attended PUNS (Parkway United Nursery School). When we saw Pastor Kevin on the TV news supporting the LGBT community, we decided that Parkway UCC was a place we wanted to visit. After attending a few times, we knew Parkway was the church for us. Mike liked the books chosen for discussion by the Tuesday Evening Dialogue group which included titles by Marcus Borg and Thich Nhat Hanh. We both liked the opportunities provided by the Adult Education classes on Sunday mornings, weekly Bible study, fellowship opportunities, Friendship Dinners and the variety of activities for all ages. We soon began attending the weekend LIFE (LIFELONG INSTITUTE OF FAITH EXPLORATION) retreat/study series at Eden Theological Seminary.

Both of our daughters are married with children. Cynthia married a theology student who was exploring the priesthood; they are now Mennonite. Melissa converted to Catholicism a few years ago. We are pleased they have found their paths to God. We have been very proud to have our daughters and their families visit Parkway.

Mike is a chemist at a small company in Maryland Heights. He is a Habitat for Humanity construction leader and helps train and supervise volunteers. He is also on the Property and Facilities Use committee at Parkway. Gerry works part-time at the ARC, a St. Louis based agency that serves developmentally disabled adults and on the Membership Care Commission. We are so grateful to have found Parkway UCC, a place where we feel welcomed, challenged and loved, with plenty of opportunities for worship, fellowship, friendship, service and learning. We love the give-and-take that comes from any discussions, where everyone is respected regardless of their viewpoints. We hope to have many more years of active participation in this fine church.