Thursday, February 2, 2012

Grandparents with Great Faith: Another Reason to Be Rather Fond of the Episcopal Church

         You would have loved Grandma Ruth. We did. Our kids definitely did.
         Raising a young family in an established suburb of Detroit, we were the kids on the block. The folks who lived there built the neighborhood, raising their own families many years ago in an idyllic world that we could only imagine. They were from an era where neighbors watched out for each other.
         Grandma Ruth and her husband, Grandpa Bill – that’s what our young children called them (even though we weren’t related) – were the perfect neighbors. She would give our dog treats over the fence. And if we couldn’t find our kids right away, we knew where to look – next door, where they would fold laundry with Ruth, have an ice cream with Bill and generally love their elderly neighbors to pieces.
         At around the same time, my wife and I were growing increasingly disillusioned with the Catholic Church and wanted to explore other religions. We eventually found an Episcopal church in our town. The first time we had ever been inside an Episcopal church wasn’t under the best of circumstances. We went there for Ruth’s funeral.
         During the eulogy, given by Ruth’s daughter, we heard wonderful stories about Ruth. One of them included how grateful they were for our children, who obviously loved Ruth so much and came over almost every day to see her parents. That touched us, but I thought it spoke volumes about our neighbors.
         Ruth and Bill were always offering to help us whenever we needed it. Maybe it’s not a surprise that my wife and I knew finding this Episcopal Church was no accident. We knew this was the church we had long been seeking.  
         Thanks, Grandma Ruth.

         Rick Schulte is Director of Communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. You can keep tabs on all communications of the diocese on Facebook