My name is Heather, and I’m a PK. For those of you who don’t know what a PK is, I’m a “preacher’s kid.” I literally grew up in the church. My dad is a Methodist minister, my mom was the church secretary for a long time, and the church was my playground. I explored all over, and I always felt comfortable there.
One of the advantages of being part of the minister’s family is that everyone knows who you are. It’s also a disadvantage. Whenever you move to a new church, which we did several times when I was a kid – I grew up in NJ and they have an itinerant system – everybody gets to know you right away. That means I did not develop the skill of moving to a new church and having to introduce myself, which was a challenge when I became an adult. Things I did learn growing up as a PK: acceptance – my parents were universally good to everyone, as much as I could tell. We used inclusive language before that was a thing – I grew up singing songs that way before I knew that’s what it was called.
I learned that everyone is loved, God is love, and God loves everyone. I hear other folks telling stories of their experiences growing up hearing about discrimination or not associating with certain people. I didn’t know what that was like. Granted, I did grow up in a pretty white neighborhood and at the same time I didn’t even know derogatory terms for other racial and ethnic groups and I really appreciate my parents for that.
That was me growing up. Took faith for granted – this is how it is, this is what everybody does. I went to college and studied a bunch of other religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam – I almost got a minor in religion but I would have had to study Christianity and I was kind of over it at that point. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to believe.
Moved to Colorado in ’91 because my boyfriend (now my husband) was doing his grad work at Colorado State. Didn’t go to church for a while, then I decided to go back. Even at that point I was Christian by default. What really solidified my faith for me was taking a Disciple 1 class. For those of you who haven’t taken that, you essentially read a good portion of the Bible and really study it, digging in to the roots of the Christian faith and Judaism and seeing how it all ties together. You may have heard the expression “God doesn’t have any grandchildren” – you can go for a while on your parents’ faith but you have to make it your own. That Disciple 1 experience really made my faith my own for me. So that’s how I truly became a Christian. I was probably in my 30’s when that happened.
I ended up at Heart of the Rockies probably in 2012 or 2013. I know it was around that time because I was in the 2013 directory. I’d been going to a Methodist church in town and hadn’t been happy. I remember my very first Sunday walking in the door and Belinda Kernaghan inviting me to sit with her and explaining the bulletin and that feeling of being welcomed has stuck with me. And I love the way this church is so involved – there’s so many opportunities for service. I am very much a behind the scenes person which is why you haven’t seen me up here – you can see me at the back quite often. I just really, really love there are so many ways to be involved. Here at Heart of the Rockies, I see God in your faces, I hear God in your voices. Thank you for sharing this journey of loving and serving with me.
The season of Epiphany reminds us to look for the places God reveals God’s self in the world. When we share our stories, we see how God is at work in and through us. Each week, we’ve seen God revealed through our storytellers.