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By Stephanie Kim.

There are times when unrelated thoughts and experiences from my daily life intermingle in my mind and end up linked together. One week, I had a Bible study lesson on Ephesians 4, reviewed my homeowner’s insurance policy, and heard an explanation on why we go to church. Thinking on these topics brought to mind my faith family – the people that I worship, pray and study the Bible with each Sunday and fellowship with throughout the week. Some might call that a church family, but it’s not really about the church building, being Christian, or even the denomination. It’s the family that I see regularly and with whom I live out my faith, in times that are good and bad, simple and complex.

Faith Family

Stephanie is a member of Sojourners Bible study class.

My Sunday morning Bible study class helps me learn God’s Word and grow in faith. While studying Ephesians 4, I read verse 16: “Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (NLT). In this small group, we encourage and strengthen each other, we share our burdens, and we try to love as God loves.

Much like my homeowner’s insurance policy, I know my faith family is there for me when disaster strikes. They have been there to assist me in grief and loss, to help me back onto my feet when I didn’t have the strength to do it on my own. They have worked alongside me in putting the pieces back together and have assisted me with recovery and moving on. And better than insurance, they have celebrated with me in my successes.

Our pastor reminded us at the end of a sermon about why we go to church. It is the place of refuge after a tough week where we can find strength and encouragement, where we can worship and pray together. And worship provides the opportunity to refuel after a draining week and to regroup to face the challenges of the coming week.

Faith Family

Stephanie (far right) with friends

Belonging to a church is also about connecting and belonging to a family. It’s where I and my faith family are challenged to grow, to serve, to love. It’s where we experience God’s love in a world of disasters and disappointments. Even though we come from very different backgrounds and may not always agree, it is the best place for us all to grow and mature in faith.

I have others in my extended faith family that don’t attend my church and are not part of my immediate faith family, but nonetheless are an important part of my growth. They provide extra protection like an “insurance rider.” Although I don’t get to see or talk to these faith-filled friends frequently, they are as close as a call or email.

Connecting to a faith family gives the help we need in the daily routine and in times of disaster. It also gives us the chance and the challenge to provide coverage to those without insurance in their times of need.

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