From Mark Carpenter as told by the Rev. Katie Wright
I was on staff at a church before that wasn’t healthy. In charge of the music with no resources to make it happen- here, do this, but you can’t spend any money and you aren’t doing it right. I couldn’t be a Lector. It was a destructive experience, and I was really on the cusp of quitting Christianity all together.
Fortunately, I found St. David’s. When I arrived I couldn’t be in a service with music- it was too painful. I got involved in leading and attending the Morning and Evening Prayer services. I joined EfM- Education for Ministry, but Sunday morning worship was out. I went 20 months without even playing the piano.
I signed up to be a Lector, and it was a pivotal moment when I could stand in front of the congregation to read the scriptures.
Recently, I was asked to participate in a small group to help Jimmy Wright fulfill requirements for a class he is taking. We would read along with him and meet once a week to talk about what we were learning with St. David’s as the context. It has been very healing for me.
In the group, the class, I got to understand that the stuff that was going on in the other church was stuff I didn’t cause, and couldn’t control. I gained the perspective to understand what happened there and to trust that this was a different place and really was operating differently. The resources are here to get the perspective I needed to let go and reestablish myself as a Christian.
I feel like I got my life back. I am centered again, playing the piano, looking forward to Bell Choir rehearsals and even composing music. I can trust people again. I can trust clergy, too.
Last summer I felt like I didn’t have a single thing of value to give to a church. But I do, we all do. We just need to match our God given abilities and gifts with the needs of the church.
I can now recognize the talents that I can offer to this place.