I grew up in a Methodist church. We went every Sunday and we sang hymns, but I never heard about a personal relationship with Jesus. When I was in high school I thought I was going to be a home economics major because I liked working with fabric, but then I found out you had to take chemistry, and my brain protested! Luckily, my high school offered an organ class, and since I already knew how to play piano, I decided to take it. Two years later, I started private lessons. After I graduated from high school, I began regularly playing at a church, and I haven’t stopped playing yet! God definitely had His in hand in that, putting me in a job where I could serve Him directly, because how many high schools offer an organ class?
I was spending a lot of time in church, playing four services every Sunday, but it was my job, not a spiritual calling. Then in 1980 I went to Bible Study Fellowship for the first time—and that was just a whole new experience! I realized what a difference having a personal relationship with God made, and this began a new chapter in my life, one of walking with Jesus.
As an organist, I am working hard during worship. I’m thinking about the musical elements of the service, the tempo of the hymns—and I’m listening carefully to the sermon so I know when it’s about to end. But I realized that I needed to worship, too—not just work. I wanted my job and my faith to work hand in hand together.
I came to CPC in 1988. I knew there was something different here because in my interview, I was asked, “What is your relationship with Jesus?” I’d never been asked that question before. I have no idea what I said, but it must have been okay because I got the job!
One of the things that impressed me when I first started here were ALL the Bible studies—men’s Bible studies, women’s Bible studies, Community Bible Study, BSF. Always being in a Bible study has been important in my personal journey. You’re never done studying the Bible. And you need others to walk with you and be in the Word with you. Having a friend, someone that you can share things with—when you’re strong in your faith, when you’re struggling in your faith, you can uphold each other. Worship is important, too—worshiping God in community with others. Being with believers, encouraging others and being encouraged, hearing the Gospel, helping each other grow.
Jesus is the whole focus of why we worship. We worship in church, but we show that Jesus matters when we bring His message outside of worship and share that in personal ways with other people. Being an introvert, and not growing up in a family or church where it was emphasized, I shied away from sharing my faith, but I do value it now. In addition to transforming my work, my relationship with Jesus has helped me to be more vocal in sharing my faith, and sharing it has in turn strengthened my faith.
The older I get, the more I realize that there is so much to be thankful for. My husband and I had our fiftieth anniversary this year, how cool is that!?! I’m thankful I’m still able to do this job, this calling, and that I’m at this church where Jesus is the center—it’s not named Christ Presbyterian Church for nothing!
Some people grow up hearing the Gospel and some hear it very late in life. It doesn’t matter. We have the chance to walk with and serve God. That is our true calling, no matter what our “day job” is.
Jane serves as Organist at CPC.