I have never felt committed to a church in my life. Yes, I regularly attend Woodinville Alliance or Crossroads Bible(Baptist?) Church, but what connections have I there? I do not look forward to going, though I am happy to have the opportunity to worship my Creator; but I am not missed when I do not attend.
Crossroads Christian Fellowship was different. In that church we found family away from our homes, people willing to spend hours in the hospital with me, loving relationships, and a community (I can’t believe I used that word! But it’s true) of believers strong in their faith. This small group of people became our friends over the last year, supported us and “familied” us. We learned new East Coast worship songs there and grew greatly in our faith. They were more than happy to drive us places, to be pals with Ian, and to rush him home when he got ill over spring break. They mothered me and let me stay in their homes when I was too ill to take care of myself. I cannot express how comfortable I felt with the members of CCF: it really did feel like a family joining together each Sunday evening. For the first time in my life I began looking forward to church not only to worship, but as a time to worship with friends – a far, far more powerful experience than simply standing alone. In a phrase, I loved what the Lord lead Pastor David to do with Crossroads. I could continue forever, but the story moves on from there.
However, with the submission of this letter, things began falling apart for CCF. We kept meeting, and Johanna happily gave us a ride to the Wescott’s home while services were held there. Then we joined with Pleasant Street Baptist, which meets in the building we used last year. Much was left up in the air. Several weeks we met there, with the CCF attendance waxing and waning, but more waning. Today the leaders of the church sent out this email and left me – to my great surprise and sorrow – in tears.
“To the brothers and sisters in Christ of Crossroads Christian fellowship,
It is with great sadness that we, the leaders of CCF, together with the body of Christ within CCF, have determined that the time has come to formally dissolve our church organization, effective December 1, 2003. As God called our fellowship into being, so now He is calling each of us to other ministries toward building the greater Church and fulfilling the Great Commission.
As many of you know, our fellowship has recently been worshipping with the body of Pleasant Street Baptist Church in Worcester. There are tremendous ministry opportunities at this small church replant, and we believe that their newly called pastor Tramayne Dye will accomplish great things for Christ in this community. Some of you may feel called to continue your worship and ministries in this body in the heart of Worcester, and we encourage you to do so with God’s blessing. Others have already felt called to other ministry opportunities in our communities and we look forward to encouraging you in these new endeavors. And certainly, there are those among us who are as yet unsure as to where God will be calling us next; we will be in prayer for each of you that God will direct your path to His purposes. Regardless of where each of us ends up, we will always remain brothers and sisters in the greater body of Christ. It is an exciting beginning to see how God will commission this handful of believers to take what we have gained over the past 4 years at CCF to affect many other church bodies and communities. Let us all commit to go and be salt and light to a dying world.”
I did not understand until CCF what “church family” actually meant on a gut-level. Now I know, but the family has died. As Johanna has left for good, so everybody else will scatter to churches closer to home. I do not know what Ian and I will do in terms of church attendance. I know that right now, however, I am going to have a good cry into my all-absorbant pillow.
– kf –