I’ve always had Christ in my life. It means a lot to me that I can turn to God when I’m in need. I was raised Catholic and was part of that denomination for thirty-seven years. But then I got divorced and was ex-communicated, so I thought, Maybe I should go somewhere else. Twenty-two years ago I met my wife, Jodee, at a Presbyterian church, and we started attending CPC about five years ago. We love the small groups here—we’re part of the A.C.T.S. community, and we’ve served as deacons, too. We appreciate how CPC is service-orientated; my SAM [Saturday AM] small group studies books but also does a lot of work with organizations like Mobility Worldwide. I also appreciate how open CPC is. We have people in SAM who don’t even go to CPC—I like that.
I met Van Chounlamountry [Director of Elevate] on a trip to Chicago for the Global Leadership Summit, and he asked me to be a mentor this year on Wednesday nights. The group has done so many things for me on different levels. It’s interesting sitting with the group of adult mentors, getting their take on life. The high school leaders I work with are just a great group of young people, and I mentor two of the best. They are both outstanding leaders. The actual middle schoolers themselves—Van’s got his hands full! I wasn’t sure how they were going to take to an old guy like me. I shut up most of the time and let the high schoolers lead, but when I’m asked a question, I answer, they listen, and they want to talk about it more. They’re looking for direction and guidance, and somebody that looks like they have some kind of standards and discipline.
When it comes to God, I’ve come to understand that there’s always something to learn.
We’ll never learn it all. And one thing I’ve always understood is that I’m like everybody else: I’m a sinner. I have my issues, and I swear like a sailor; I’ve gotta watch that. We’re all sinners, but God loves us and sent Jesus for us, and without that we would be lost. I know I need God. Maybe I need Him more than some others. But being in a community reminds me why we’re here—to love and help others.