Dear ECC Woman,by Christy Cabe
Dear ECC woman,
When I was ten years old, my dad took the position of head pastor (at that point in time, the only pastor!) of Emmanuel Community Church. We lived in Huntington, and so we began to build a house in the small town of Roanoke, a little closer to the church, yet still in the Huntington County school system where my brother and I attended.
By the end of March, 1989, Dad had been pastor of ECC for 6 weeks, and we had plans to move into our new home later that spring.
And then Good Friday changed my life.
On March 24, Good Friday that year, my mother, Mary, passed away suddenly in our kitchen at the age of 34.
It has now been over 28 years since that awful Good Friday. I’ll do the math for you, that makes me thirty-nine years old.
I’ve grown up at ECC, and come to think of it, ECC has grown up with me.
In 1989, less than 100 people attended on a Sunday morning. Today we have a lot more than that who fill our
pews chairs and call our church “home.”
Yes, I’ve been around for a lot of changes at ECC.
I remember the gravel parking lot (with the wooden posts that marked the parking spots!).
I remember the season we had youth Sunday school classes in ugly orange trailers parked outside because we didn’t have any room inside the building!
I remember the tiny foyer with the woman’s restroom that led into the nursery (convenient, yet sometimes slightly awkward).
The first building program when we added children’s classrooms and that much needed youth room (and a carpeted gym where I played a lot of volleyball!)
The church picnics we used to have at the Good Shepherd UB Church campus in Huntington and the competitive softball games that ensued.
VBS weeks when we pitched twelve tents in the “forest” surrounding the church, and where we each were part of one of twelve tribes of Israel (go team Asher!).
The two summers, during my college years, when I interned at ECC and led children’s activities like “Wonderful Wednesdays.”
The time we broke ground for our second big building project, the one that led to our current sanctuary- wow, did it look huge!
The four years I worked full-time at ECC as the Director of Children’s Ministries.
The times we’ve held baptism services at the ponds of ECC attenders.
The time I met my future husband at our “Young Adult” Sunday School class party.
The time I got married in that big sanctuary.
The time I took my own child to the nursery for the first time (and now I have three kids who’ve gone through the nursery)!
The time we built again, another gym, this time without the carpet, and more classrooms and office space.
The time our son was too sick with cancer to attend church for a few years.
The time we once again needed more space and added a new children’s wing and I had the honor of praying at the groundbreaking service.
The time our “Young Adult” Sunday School class got moved into the category of “Not Quite As Young Anymore.”
Yes, I’ve grown up at ECC… and with ECC.
And it has been a tremendous privilege.
To say I feel at home at ECC is an understatement, though my dad has always made it clear that I should be no more at home at ECC than anyone else. I may be the pastor’s daughter, but that doesn’t give me the “golden ticket,” or a free pass into Heaven.
No, that pass into Heaven came another way.
On another Good Friday that changed my life.
The wonderful Good Friday when Jesus died for me.
And at ECC, I’ve had the honor of growing not only in these experiences and memories, but in my personal faith as well.
What a blessing!
What a love I have for you, ECC woman, because you are part of “my home,” my story, and my life.
And so, I want to invite you to something…
I’ve been asked to share at the next REFRESH event on Monday, May 1, from 7:00-8:30. Consider this your personal invitation to attend. Sorry there’s no fancy stationary, but believe me, it is heart-felt just the same.
I won’t be sharing about all my ECC memories at REFRESH (Kim Fish gave me a time limit! Ha!) but I will be sharing a talk entitled, “Brownie Crumbs and Other Life Morsels,” which includes some stories and some things I’ve learned along the way.
Don’t tell my dad, but I’m not planning to use an outline with blanks. And, I probably won’t start all of my points with the same letter either. But, you can be sure I’ll tell you about God’s love and the love we can have for each other as well.
Will you join me? I hope you’ll come.
(And I hear there’s going to be brownies! What more do you need to know?!)
I hope to see you there!
With love and thanks,
Christy Cabe writes about life through an honest, observant, and down-to-earth voice. She has been known to make her readers cry and laugh within the span of a few moments as she focuses on truth, hope, and humor. Christy enjoys telling a good story in hopes that the reader will walk away encouraged and inspired to grow in their love for God, and for others. She has a degree in educational ministries from Huntington University, drinks coffee every morning, and lives in Indiana with her husband, Kraig, and their three children.
You can find Christy’s blog at christycabe.com
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