Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Countdown to 30: Growing up at Creston Community Church

{I'm doing a series of answering peoples' questions about me and my life as I count down to my 30th birthday.  If you have something you'd like to ask me--anything!--please leave a comment or send me an email.  It's not everyday I open myself up to answering any and all random questions, so ask away!}

So today's question is in regards to who my favorite leader at VBS was when I was a kid.  (It was Heather Kelley, one of the leaders at VBS, who asked.  :)  And I think she was also my favorite--I'm not just saying that!)  Can you find me in the photo?  I'm the kid on the left, standing up straight wearing a blue tye-dyed shirt and blue shorts.  :)

I grew up going to this small country church in my hometown of Creston.  The church is a bajillion years old and was founded by some sort of circuit riding preacher cowboy in the 1880s or something.  Strange.

Anyway, I have incredibly fond memories of my 18 years attending there.  The old wooden chairs, the songs we'd sing about Jesus, various Christmas programs, and Easter services where I'd play "Ode to Joy" on my clarinet with my best friend playing the flute. 

And, of course, VBS.

Funny thing is that when I moved out and went to college, I found myself attending the church in San Luis Obispo that actually drove out to Creston and put on this VBS each year.  (Though I didn't realize it at the time.)  So the above photo is extra funny for me because it's a bit like my two worlds are colliding: my childhood in rural Creston, and my college/married-with-kids life in San Luis Obispo.

Anyway, I LOVED VBS.  It was always a blast and the leaders were a ton of fun.  Lots of kids from the community joined up too.

And check me and my tye-dyed tshirt out in this shot--I'm the person with the brown hair not looking at the camera (??!!) on the far right.  My flute-playing best friend of over 20 years is second from the left.  And that eyesore of a trailer in the background?  Yeah, that was where our youth group met for Sunday School.  We had to use a stinky space-heater in the winter because it was so cold.

Honestly, the people from Grace Church putting this on must have thought we were such hicks.  And I think we kind of were.

It's funny because I wouldn't choose this type of church now as an adult.  Nondenominational, out in the country, many a cowboy, super casual, flannelgraph and Sunday School Charlie.  But.  I encountered Jesus there and it has played such a wonderful role in my faith journey.  (And, I loved Sunday School Charlie.)  There was nurture and love and that's where we went, every single week, to worship God.  Nice and simple.

So that was VBS and a little bit about the very first church I ever belonged to.  I attended from the time I was a baby on up until I moved out to go to college.  I've visited a time or two since but I hardly know anyone there anymore.  They've since built a new building but the old one (that we're standing in front of in the top photo) is still standing.  It's in the heart of "town", right across from my elementary school (where my dad worked his entire teaching career) and just down the road from the Long Branch and the Loading Chute and the Post Office.  :)

I heart Creston.

And, I heart Creston Church.  And VBS.  And the awesome Grace Church people who came each year to teach us cool songs like "God's Not Dead (He's Alive)" (or something like that) and that song that has the words "beautiful" and "butterfly" in it, I think.  Good times for sure.

So thanks for asking, Heather!  You were a rockin' VBS leader!    :)


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