Santa Margarita Community Church,
My husband Logan and I can’t thank you enough for the kindness and true godliness you have shown to us. We grew up in a wonderful church, but there came a time for us to move on and seek out a new church to call home. A church where we would feel loved and known. A sanctuary of believers who truly cared and took the time to know our names. A community that sought to do good and make Him known. A place we could call home.
Nine months is not very long for us to find a church, get connected, then have to say goodbye. After we moved back to Atascadero from living in Pleasanton for our first three months of marriage, we struggled to find a church. We visited a couple different churches, but none of them pulled our desire quite enough. We spent our first month back in Atascadero looking for a church while I struggled to even get out of bed in the morning, feeling crippled by my anxiety.
It wasn’t until Logan’s boss invited us to this small town church that we finally felt like we were put right where we belonged.
This church is full of families, older couples, and a very small amount of young newlyweds (like ourselves), yet you made us feel more welcomed than we could have imagined. Something about it continued to draw us in and keep us going.
Every Sunday, familiar faces would greet us by name and give us grace when we couldn’t remember theirs. We would worship our Father with songs I had never sung before but they were filled with beauty and truth. At the end of each service we would be equipped for the week. Pastor Robert would have us put our hands out in a posture to receive while he recited Hebrews 13:20-21 to cover us. This was the benediction and left me feeling ready to conquer the week with God going before me.
It wasn’t long before Pastor Robert had us over at his house so we could get to know him better and educate us on what the church believes. What a privilege it was to be welcomed into his home. He talked about life, God, and asked us questions so he could get to know us better.
Each Sunday was filled with the good news of Jesus Christ. We quickly learned the emphasis you put on raising up a generation to know Christ. I love the way you pour into the younger generations. No wonder we felt so welcomed here.
Easter Sunday connected the pieces from almost every sermon I’ve heard here.
Okay, I get that raising up generations is important but I am not a mom yet…I’m just a nanny. This “just a nanny” was a lie that I had been believing for way too long. I was completely convicted as Pastor Robert talked about how you are not just a mom, just a dad, or for me…just a nanny. You are raising up image bearers of Christ! You are raising up a generation to know Christ! What a privilege and responsibility that is!
This shook me to my core. If you ever came up to me and asked me what I do, then I probably told you “I’m just a nanny.” Man was I mistaken. This one word “just” was the thing keeping me from taking my job, my title, and who I am seriously. I am no longer “just” a nanny. I am raising up image bearers of Christ. I am teaching them who our Father in Heaven is. They will know His love because I will show them!
Santa Margarita Community Church, I can’t thank you enough for your generosity and love towards my husband and I. This goodbye that is quickly approaching is bittersweet. We hate to leave this church and these people, but God is sending us on our way. He has prepared a church for us in Pleasanton. You have taught us so much and loved me during a time I needed it most. I walk out of this church a stronger person: less selfish, less anxious, and more Christ-like.
We will always call this church a home and when we are back for holidays and visits with our family, this is where you will find us. In this small town church filled with people who exude Christ’s love and have welcomed us with open arms.
“Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which pleasing in His sight, though Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”