Travis Kessler and Shelley Friend
We love the traditions and rituals of the Episcopal Church as well as the sermons each week. The culture of inclusion is aligned with our values and beliefs.
We were married at St. David’s years ago and were active members until we moved from Austin a few years later. When we returned, we knew we wanted to find a church family again. We visited several different churches, including St. David’s. The first Sunday we went through the line to shake hands (pre-COVID) with Father Chuck. We briefly told him we were married here years before and he said, “welcome home.” That warm greeting made us feel like we definitely were in the right place, at least as far as attending church. We love the traditions and rituals of the Episcopal Church as well as the sermons each week. The culture of inclusion is aligned with our values and beliefs.
When our daughters were young, we were very active in a church in north Texas. Our Sunday School class of 200 created an important community in a church with over 10,000 members. We are still very close to many members of that group even though we moved away several years ago.
Because of the friendships we made there, we knew we had to find a group at St. David’s before we would rejoin. Luckily, we walked into The Middle Place in the fall of 2019. We liked the idea of being a part of a group that discusses relevant current events and connects them to our religious/spiritual practices. Anne Claire and Adrian Woods greeted us with a warm welcome as did all the members. Fortunately, we gathered in-person before the pandemic shut down the live meetings. In the meantime, the opportunity to study, learn, and connect with each other exploded on our weekly Zoom calls. We feel so close to the members of The Middle Place now and can’t wait to get to know them better when it is safe to have face-to-face interactions.
There is a community here willing to grapple with the hard questions facing Christians in this time and place.
I drifted away from the church years ago; there never seemed to be enough time, it was so early on Sunday mornings, all of the usual excuses. The empty space left in my life was easily ignored with daily busyness and a touch of practiced cynicism.
Then 2020 happened, and the long quarantine stripped away the busyness and provided an opportunity to hear that still, small voice inside again, and that voice was calling me back to the church. I once again felt the need for worship and a community of people working together to learn how to better honor God and love our neighbors as ourselves.
I heard about St. David’s though some friends who are members, and I attended several virtual services, while also virtually visiting other churches in the area. The welcome at St. David’s was warm and inviting, but what really drew me are the adult formation groups; there is a community here willing to grapple with the hard questions facing Christians in this time and place, and which supports one another as we face our imperfect humanity in the service of God. That community has made St. David’s feel like home — even though I have not yet set foot inside the building.