Why I call East Nissouri Union Church
In September of 2000 the Church I had previously attended for 28 years had finally made the decision to close their doors, the closure of this Church left my husband and I without a Church.
My husband passed away very suddenly on March 8th, 2001 and since we had had no Church affiliation I was left feeling like I had nowhere to turn. And while I knew many Pastors and Ministers in the Church I had no Church and no place that I felt I could hold my husband’s funeral reception. When I mentioned this to a relative they immediately said that my family was more than welcome to use ENUC for the reception after the funeral. In a time of much sorrow my family and I were welcomed and treated with love and dignity, as if we were members of the community even.
Shortly after my husband’s death I felt that it was time to return to Church. I began to Church shop on Sunday mornings, looking for a community where I could fit in and belong. While I had been raised Anglican, I had also spent many years in the United Church as well, so I was familiar with the worship styles of the two Churches. When I was looking for a new Church home I found that some places I went felt very uncomfortable, not welcoming, and some were quite ridged and others were struggling. Having seen what a Church closing did to people and a community I did not want to go through that again. But no matter where I went I could not seem to find the right place.
In early 2002 I found myself attending ENUC more and more. Having attending the Church on previous occasions for special events and services I had always found it to be a very warm and welcoming community. What I discovered over time as I kept returning to ENUC was that there were people from a wide range of denominational backgrounds and there was a broader age range present as well. The children were a part of the church, they took part in the services and were always welcome at regular services (and they still are!). There was a visible future at ENUC.
As I started attending ENUC more frequently I discovered a warm and welcoming community. A place that is truly interdenominational. A place where both my Anglican and my United Church backgrounds could meet together in one place. But more importantly a place that welcomed me and accepted me for who I was. That is the uniqueness that I have discovered about ENUC over the years. To the extent that whenever my family have attended church with me they are always made to feel as if this Church is their home as well. My grandchildren are always welcome (without exception) in Sunday School and other Church services and have always been invited to Vacation Bible School and other special events.
In 2004 the first time I invited my second husband to be, to church with me. I remember telling him that since it was communion Sunday that he would be invited to partake in communion with the rest of the community. I remember very clearly how surprised he was at this invitation. Having come from a tradition where he was no longer able to partake in communion because he was divorced he had not partaken in communion in quite some time. I explained to him how Communion would be served so that he would not be surprised, and I remember that he didn’t really say anything about it to me. I assumed that he probably wouldn’t take Communion that day. To my surprise, when it came time for Communion he received the bread and the juice and received Communion every time there after. He told me later how welcome he had felt by both the Pastor and the members. How it meant so much to him to be welcomed into the community like that. It was shortly after this that I made the decision to join ENUC.
In July of 2005, my second husband John Bak and I were married at ENUC. I also became a member of the ladies group, a member of the board, and regularly attend Bible Study.
My daughter was married by the Pastor from ENUC and when my parents passed away the Pastor and the community stood by me and supported myself and my family. The pastor conducted the funeral for us and the community offered prayerful support. And when my second husband passed away in 2009, it was the community of ENUC who stood with me once again. Who supported me, and walked with me just as they had done with the loss of my first husband years before, before I was even a member.
I have never felt as welcome at a Church as I do at East Nissouri Union Church. I regularly encourage my family, friends and neighbours to attend Church services and other special events. I am forever grateful for the fit and the home that I have found at ENUC.