Olivia Newport Door County churches

Photo © Larry Mohr

My mother grew up going to church. My unchurched dad responded to an altar call as an adult. These are two very different faith stories. Together they raised my siblings and me in a church with Sunday school, Sunday afternoon children’s programing, Sunday evening services, midweek boys and girls clubs, Wednesday evening prayer meetings, youth groups, choirs—you name it, we were there for it. I remember when road changes provided “the new way” to get to church, which was faster so we could spend more time at church.

In some ways I hardly knew the difference between home and church as a child.

And that wasn’t all bad. I grew up feeling that I had a place in a community, and faith values were integrated into our life together. When I had children of my own, my prayer was that they would feel that same sense of belonging.

Now I write about the Amish, a faith community very different than the one I grew up in. It’s enough similar, though, to give me a chance to write about parents who want that sense of belonging for their children.

Meek and Mild is my latest Amish story. The part of it I most identify with is Clara’s wrestling with finding her own place of belonging in a community of faith.

• How about you? What’s the story of your faith journey?