January 19, 2019

Parkway UCC: the Church that Keeps on Being Given

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Kris & Tom McKenzie

Kris and Tom McKenzie were brought up in very different religious environments. Kris’s entire religious experience has been under the guidance of the Evangelical and Reformed/United Church of Christ Church. Tom grew up under Roman Catholic guidance. Kris’s mother was very active in church life; her father went to church only for his children’s baptisms, confirmations and weddings. Both of Tom’s parents were very committed to Catholic Church life and raised their children accordingly.

When Kris was 15 she and her family moved from Iowa to St. Louis, MO. After almost a year of searching, her mother, Fran Rasmussen, decided to become a member of Parkway UCC. Fran gifted the opportunity to experience Parkway membership to her 2 youngest daughters, Mary and Kris. Kris has remained a member although taking several years “vacation” from church after her parents retired and moved out of St. Louis.

Tom has always lived in St. Louis, MO. When he was 15 he was questioning the Catholic faith. He spent most of his young adulthood searching for a church that was a good fit.

Tom and Kris met and in 1985 married at Parkway UCC. A couple years later their first child, Laura, was on the way. Both Tom and Kris wanted their children to be raised with strong religious experiences, just like they were. Kris offered the gift of Parkway UCC to Tom. He accepted the gift and embraced it.

As time passed Parkway UCC was gifted to the McKenzie children by their parents. Both Laura and Lucia were baptized, confirmed, and given faith based experiences at Parkway. Laura, 27, has lived away from St. Louis most of her post high school life but still considers Parkway UCC her church home.

Lucia, 24, remains a devoted member of the Parkway UCC family.

Lucia often offers the gift of experiencing Parkway UCC to her friends. It is hoped that those who have accepted the gift of Parkway UCC find it a warm and welcoming experience just as the McKenzie family has all these years.