This is Jonathan’s story in his own words…
I was raised as an Episcopalian. Then in college I drifted away. After college I occasionally attended Methodist services in Haddonfield. I liked that church for its music. A divorce brought me by luck to this area, just a block from St. Peter’s. I began to attend from time to time. I have since moved from a sporadic attendee to one who feels unhappy when I cannot attend.
St. Peter’s means many things to me. Here are three slices of its meaning. First, I love music. I have discovered that it hits me so directly in my emotions that I believe it is one way that God calls to me. Music at St. Peter’s is wonderful. It gathers me in to the worship service. When I walk up to take communion and pass between the choir members as they sing, I feel that I am about as close to Heaven as I can be on this earth.
St. Peter’s also means history to me. Normally when you think of St. Peter’s and history, you think of the revolutionary period, which is appropriate. But we have had a lot of history here since then. To my right are plaques commemorating parishioners who died in the First World War. Refurbishing these plaques was a project of HSPCPC, to which I was proud to belong for a time. This history reminds me that we are stewards of this Church for future generations, when we will have become part of the Church’s history.
Thirdly, this Church is an extraordinarily welcoming and accepting Church. I feel a comfort and happiness as I worship here that I have never felt in any other church. No matter how much I may question or even disagree with certain of our beliefs, I am happy to participate in what Ledlie has aptly called a spiritual journey. I do not ever expect to reach the end of that journey, when all things are clear and doubt is gone, but just participating in the journey is enough.
St. Peter’s means more to me than just these slices. Beaty Bock gave me her hand in marriage here, and every time I enter there remains with me some of the feeling of that happy day. St. Peter’s has become the center of much of our life as a couple: we worship here; we attempt to serve it in our different ways; and we have found many of our closest friends here. Our friendships have started with our common faith but have expanded to include music, books, provocative discussions, and even an occasional glass of good wine.
I am privileged to be a member of this Church. Thank you.