Last Friday as I sat down to watch a baseball game surrounded by familiar faces a warm feeling came over me. While it was certainly hot due to the weather that is not the warmth I am referring to in this moment. The warmth I felt brought a sense of comfort and a feeling of being settled, wrapped in the loving arms of my church family. You see, FBC Augusta has always felt like home to me but over the past week FBC had become even more of a home for my two daughters. Julianna and Melody spent the week at Vacation Bible School where they bonded with new friends and grew deeper in relationship with their church family. They spent time hearing Bible stories, making crafts, and playing with friends. Wonderful church leaders and students poured into their lives, and they were impacted greatly by this experience. As we made our way to the GreenJackets baseball game they could not wait to see new friends from VBS. Julianna looked all around for friends she made and the special youth helper who worked with her group! Melody searched until she found her new best friend among the crowd. Both girls were waving and smiling to many familiar faces among our church group. I was surprised as well at how many of those in my second grade VBS group took time to say hello to me.

As I sat and reflected on this experience, I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy. This church, my church, had now become “our church.” This place that Jason and I have come to love so dearly over many years through shared experiences has now become a place that my girls have grown to love. It has always been a familiar place as we visited with my parents on holidays and special occasions, but it has now truly become home. There is such power in the depth of relationship that my girls are now experiencing with their own church family.

I think I can speak for all of us when I say we I think we have experienced challenges this past year, especially when we have felt distanced from one another. For my girls in particular moving amid a pandemic brought particular challenges. Now as we enter this next season, there is power in knowing that this is “our church.” This is our church family, a family we can continue to lean on and depend on whether we are in worship with one another or enjoying fellowship at a baseball game. Thanks be to God for the family of First Baptist Church of Augusta!

Martha Kate Hall