Kelly Knight Churbuck is a member of Church of the Good Shepherd, Wareham. Here, Kelly reflects on how the CGS community supports and inspires her, and how the collaboration between CGS and LDI is developing an even more active, relational, and loving community.
I still consider myself brand new to the Church of the Good Shepherd, Wareham community, but the CGS Wareham Community makes me FEEL like I've been a family member for YEARS.
I grew up going to the large Catholic church next door to Good Shepherd. I can't speak to what it is today, but the church was very traditional, stiff and strict. I never went regularly, outside of completing communion classes, and stopped going the second I went off to college. I honestly had no desire to return to a church community. After I had my son, I thought it would be nice to have a moral-based learning infrastructure and community to introduce him to. As much as I never really connected with the Catholic community, the classes did introduce me to the bible and basic moral principles, which I found to be a good complement to K-12 schooling.
I met with Pastor Dan early last fall because I had an opportunity to donate. I'd felt and been aware of some of the work CGS did in the community, but I had no idea of the true depth of what was happening - the amount of time, dedication, selfless giving - that was happening at CGS. Once I attended a couple services and met the community... it was over for me... I KNEW I had surrounded myself with people who could truly elevate my life. I finally understood what church COULD be.
Being involved with the CGS AND LDI has been an amazing experience! Mixing the heart of the CGS community AND the passion (and incredible perspective) of Natalie has elevated my appreciation for the work that CGS does WEEKLY and my appreciation for the greater Episcopal community. To know that the Episcopal community is just as supportive and invested in the wellness of our world as our individual parish is... it proves that the vision of the greater community and the parish are one.
The presence of LDI’s project in conjunction with the multi-faceted stages of it, as Natalie presents it, paints this gorgeous, larger picture of how many different levels where we, as project participants, will be contributing to the community... From the start, before we pick up a hammer or book any event, we are reaching out to and connecting with community members on a very personal level, generating this presence of appreciation for each person's opinion, voice and contribution... all in the spirit of love.
Starting from this place of love and appreciation has really elevated my understanding of how EVERY interaction I have on a daily basis can send a positive and productive shock wave into the world around me. I knew the possibility of this mindset prior to my training with LDI, but until LDI gave me that push and that excuse to get out there, I never truly put myself in the position to test the effects and see the results.
As you can tell, I've really enjoyed being a part of the work that CGS and LDI are teaming up to accomplish!