As part of our continuing efforts to have members of our Trinity family share how much Trinity has meant to them, new member Kim Nims talks about surprises and the warm welcome she and her husband received here.
I love surprises, and I enjoy both being surprised and also surprising other people. An attempt to surprise someone else is how my relationship with Trinity Presbyterian Church began. Last March, my husband and I moved to Charlotte, and at about that same time, I decided to be a latecomer to the Facebook scene.
I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but somehow on Facebook one day, the familiar name of Steve Lindsley popped up- the very same Steve Lindsley who had held my dripping wet 6 and 7 year old daughters on his knee when he served as their swim team coach while a student at Wake Forest. That same Steve Lindsley had reappeared in our lives when he finished seminary and came to be our associate minister at First Presbyterian Church in Lexington, NC. Steve and I became fast friends as we worked together on the church staff. We seemed to agree on what is important, and also on what is funny! My children grew up before his eyes and with his much appreciated attention, love, and his daily involvement in all of our lives. I guess Steve kind of grew up before our eyes too. I still remember sitting in his office one day and hearing him say “I think she’s the one!” Not long after that Steve and Lorie were married and soon had a baby boy. But then 12 years ago, Steve’s family and my family both moved away from Lexington ,and we lost touch over the years.
SO, it was a wonderful surprise to learn on Facebook this past March that Steve and his family had also moved to Charlotte! I didn’t communicate with Steve at the time, but instead said to my family,“Let’s go surprise Steve one Sunday at his new church!” And so we Googled Trinity Presbyterian Church and headed out one Sunday morning last April.
The first surprise was on us as we turned off of busy Providence Road into this vast church campus, and then walked into this gorgeous sanctuary. WOW! What a place to worship God!
I am pretty sure Steve was surprised that day, but little did we know that the surprises were just beginning…
After the service that day, we were invited to stay for the youth sponsored lunch and silent auction. That’s where the real surprises started, for it was there we began to encounter some of the warmest and most welcoming people we had ever met. I was surprised to feel immediately welcomed and at home. I was surprised that we felt like family among you in just one day.
And the surprises have continued as we have become a part of Trinity. What an impact you have made on my life by extending Christ’s hospitality to me as I have come to know you through book club, food truck events, by caring for your precious children in the nursery, serving coffee to you, serving alongside you on small teams of ministry, and through seeing you in the grocery store or at the mall. These are all wonderful surprises.
I experienced a not so good surprise when my mother fell and broke her hip in October, but again I was surprised by you as I received cards, texts, and emails from so many of you who said you were praying for us.
As I said before, I love being surprised but I also love surprising other people. People in this world are surprised by other people who extend God’s grace and hospitality to them in very real ways.
In thinking about that, I am excited because there is this sense that as Trinity Presbyterian Church, we are on the brink of surprising ourselves, Charlotte, and perhaps even the world. As we grow together, I believe we will surprise lots of people with God’s grace and love.
I thank you for welcoming me and my family , for taking us in as family and letting us be a part of you. God used Steve to bring us here, and God has used you to keep us here. What a wonderful, God given surprise it all continues to be!