Moving to America has been an endeavor of beginning new relationships. Since I started my position as youth director at West Chehalem Friends Church I’ve been swept up into a realm of relationships of varying kinds. I’ve found relationships with those of different perspectives; I’ve found relationships with those who are older and younger than I am. I’ve found relationships with people of different backgrounds, and it’s been fun hearing people’s stories in their development of who God has made them to be today.
I find myself thanking God for these relationships, and I thank God for allowing me to be open to these, to remove me from my tunnel-vision view of what a relationship was to me and to see how others embrace and relate to God. A significant example of this has been participating in worship on Sunday. Coming from a culture of unprogammed worship for the whole service and not even calling church “church” (rather “meeting”), it has been hard for me to join in worship the way it is done over here and adapt my relationship view of how I’m “supposed” to meet with God. In being present in worship at West Chehalem Friends my heart has been opened and softened to seeing how the older and younger generations feel God at work in their lives, how God moves them in worship to share in ministry, and so I find myself not thinking there is a way we are “supposed” to worship.
I’m venturing to find God in the things and arenas that I wouldn’t usually expect, and in doing so I give thanks that God can in fact bless me with his presence outside of my view and outside of where I have been told God exists.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10, ESV).
Contributed by Chris McMullan. Chris McMullan is the youth director for West Chehalem Friends Church. Chris comes from Ireland Yearly Meeting and moved from Ireland at the start of last summer to begin this calling.