UKIRK not only radically changed my college experience, but my life. UKIRK was the first time I encountered a Christian community that radically loved on me and changed me.
I encountered UKIRK my senior year of college, a time in which people would think that no new relationships can be really formed. I was jaded from Christian communities in which I felt like judging the world was the common bond that kept them together. I was tired of the church and tired of its people. But the first time I went to UKIRK, I was accepted with open arms. The friendships I made changed my senior year, and change my life. The way I saw God and his church was forever changed. The community I found in UKIRK accepted me fully – never once judging my beliefs or questions about God.
Our pastor, Rachel, taught me to explore my faith, to press into my questions, to speak my truth boldly, to love others recklessly. Never did I think that I would step into a Presbyterian Church, after growing up Pentecostal, much less fall in love with the church community that was made up of people that were closer to my grandparents age. But that’s what happened. UKIRK restored my faith in Christian community by teaching me, loving me, pushing me, and most of all – meeting me where I was.
Rachel, my pastor, was a radical example of a powerful woman in ministry – who kept her bright spirit and deep compassion. It taught me that women don’t have to change to lead, to teach, to preach – that God uses them how they are and where they are and JUST as they are. She is one of my favorite people in my life and I admire her so much as a friend, leader and pastor.
I have so many deep feeling and fondness for UKIRK but it’s all to say, my story would not be the same without it.