I grew up in a strong, Christian home in which my dad, who is a pastor, and my mom, who is a counselor, both helped me grow in my faith and challenged me to become a leader. My faith has gradually been formed through my family, churches, schools, my dance communities, my overseas experience in a missionary community in Cameroon, Africa, and my Young Life community around West Philly. Jesus is the center of my life, and I try to portray that through my academics, ministry, and friendships. I am so excited to be a part of a church that I have chosen for myself. It has become another home for me already, and I am excited to be in a community that cherishes the Gospel in its purest form, fellowship, and service outside the church.
I was raised in a Christian home, but my faith did not become my own until a camp retreat with my church during the summer after 9th grade in high school. My walk with Christ has transformed the way that I love people and love myself, especially after growing up in a broken family. I am thrilled to finally settle down and become integrated into a church community. I am excited to serve, learn, and love better through Liberti Church! Bessa Houseknecht: I was raised in a Christ-centered home, so I gave my life to Christ at a young age. As I've grown that has meant different things. For a while I followed all the rules to try and earn God's love, then I went in the opposite direction for a while and eventually came to understand that all I can do is humbly accept God's grace. I hope to continue to live and learn at Liberti, and I feel that I have finally found a church family to grow with.
I grew up in a Christian family. However, it wasn't until my freshman year of high school where I learned that following Jesus actually meant picking up my cross and following him - in every aspect of my life. I attended a few churches in NYC, but I struggled because I didn't have a strong support system throughout the majority of my week. So my life didn't look that much different than the average student. As much as I tried to "be a good Christian," I thirsted for a Christian community because I knew I couldn't follow Jesus on my own.
That prayer was finally answered when I went to college and joined InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. There, I learned the value of community, and that the church is the hands and feet of Jesus on earth. The Lord also showed me that if I am serious about following him, I must not have any other gods before him, including my work, and that I must not be too proud to ask others for help. God completely rearranged my plans, how I viewed my time, and to truly trust him.
My experience following Jesus has been a constant journey of giving up my plans, dying to myself and allowing God to simply bless me. Taking a sabbath day of rest is a great manifestation of that. Intentionally stopping my work to rest in him can be the hardest thing for me (and I'm sure for anyone else who is driven and really invested in their work); but it has been one of the greatest ways I know I belong to Christ. For many years in high school and into college, I felt like a slave to my work. Sabbath has been an active way for me to say my work does determine my self-worth, that I am not a slave my work, but instead a beloved child of God who will provide for me.
Lately, God has been showing me what it means to be a bold witness of his truth and love in the professional world. I think God gives us all particular skills for our professions not only to do our work, but also in order to witness to those other professionals in our field that do not know him. As secular as the legal community can be, I have been pleasantly surprised to meet many non-Christians who are open to hearing about Jesus. I am also so encouraged to meet so many other Christians practicing law.
I am most excited about being a part of Liberti for the people in the church and Liberti's heart for the poor. Never in a million years did I think I would end up in the suburbs, but I am really grateful for the community that God has placed around me and the lessons God is teaching me here. I am also really excited to continue to serve with City Team to bless the homeless in Chester.
My relationship with Jesus Christ began on September 2nd, 2012 at the end of my sophomore year at Drexel. A friend from my classes, named Jesse Bonner, shared the Gospel with me and told me the meaning of grace. That day Christ changed my life and my focuses, I now feel loved and belonging, knowing the true purpose of why I was created. I am a new creation in Christ. Now, I am most excited to see Christ use Liberti Main Line to transform the neighborhood that I grew up in by moving hearts and minds with His Gospel.
I grew up in the church and I am blessed to have many Christian family members and friends who have influenced my faith. I have always attempted to have my faith guide my actions and it was when I moved to Philadelphia that the Lord challenged me to become more vocal in my faith. Liberti has already provided many examples for what sharing the Gospel looks like through service and intimate relationships within the church. I am excited to see how the Lord leads me and my husband Matt in this community.
Being a pastor's kid and growing up in the church, faith has always been a part of my life. I accepted Christ at a young age, however, as I get older I have become more intentional in expressing my faith through my actions. Making a conscious effort in how I interact with people and how I do my work. I'm looking forward to growing deeper and making an impact on the Philadelphia community with and through Liberti Church.
Having grown up in the Catholic Church, I started learning about Jesus Christ from a young age. However, my faith in Jesus became more personal through my family's involvement in Young Life throughout middle and high school. Through Christ, I have learned to embrace my own brokenness and to love others knowing that, in our core, we are all the same. I love the Liberti community and am most excited about continuing to build relationships with other Christians and serving the surrounding community.
I was born into and grew up in a Catholic family in San Diego. I was really blessed to attend a Catholic high school and university where my faith in Jesus was strengthened as I was surrounded by a community that loved the Lord and emphasized the importance of serving a broken world. In the short time that I have attended Liberti, I have seen my faith in Jesus grow and I really appreciate the community here and the relationships that have/will be formed. Mostly, I am stoked to grow deeper roots in Christian faith with this community.
I was raised in the Catholic Church, and as a child I had always felt that I believed the teachings. When I went away to college, however, I wasn't really committed to faith in Christ, and I strayed away for awhile. Even so, I always felt the pull that was drawing me towards God, and when I came to Philadelphia two years ago, I wanted to make an effort to get to know Him better. Thanks to a lot of encouragement and support from the Christian community at Jefferson Medical School and at Liberti, and from more consistently reading the word, more and more I came to really accept faith in Christ, not only intellectually, but also personally. Now I'm very much looking forward to getting to better know others from Liberti, and to being part of the worship, outreach, and community activities that we do as a church.
The first time I made a clear and conscious choice to let Jesus into my heart I was 15. Even though that was over 10 years ago, I still feel like a brand new Christian. Jesus continues to open my eyes to His love for his people and my responsibilities to love his people as well. I am continually learning to appreciate the challenges in my life as opportunities for Christ to grow me. I am excited for God to use Liberti as a way to guide me out of my selfishness and into heart of Philadelphia to spread His love.
I came to know Christ at a young age of 6, but didn't fully understand what that meant until I was in the eighth grade. Since then, I have grown a lot in my relationship with Christ and have learned to trust in Him through any circumstance that life brings my way. Having a relationship with Christ is an integral part of my life and I can't imagine life without Him.
I'm excited about continuing to grow in my faith as I get more involved at Liberti, as well as growing in community with other believers as we reach out to people in Philadelphia who need Jesus.
Being raised in a Christian home, I came to accept Jesus at a young age. Having walked with Christ for many years, as an adult I have come to rely on Him more than any other time in my life. Jesus has kept me safe and hasn't left me, even when I fight for control. I understand what it means to surrender so that He may lead my life, instead of wasting energy creating a false life - although it's not always easy. Having lived in Philadelphia now for a year, I'm looking forward to developing closer relationships with those at Liberti so that I may have a church family to walk with, as well.
My Mommy and Daddy have been teaching me about Jesus since I was a baby. I have always enjoyed hearing the Bible stories and learning hymns. Once, when I was 7, I was really really really scared so I prayed. That night I realized that He really did hear me and I could trust him. So, I have kept praying on my own ever since.
I want to come in-covenant because I know I want to follow Jesus and I feel when I do wrong and I always want to ask for forgiveness. My favorite verses are James 4:1-3 because it reminds me that I should not fight to be #1.
I was born to Christian parents and baptized as a baby, but I never really connected with the church community I was raised in. When I was about fifteen years old, I stopped going to church and lost my faith. After a tragic family event when I was 19, my mother became heavily involved in another church, which was very useful in helping her recover emotionally. I tried to carry on as if nothing had happened, but I was eventually forced to accept the fact that my life was not going to turn out the way I had planned. I consented to meeting with my mother's pastor, and he showed me a totally different side of Christianity than I had seen when I was growing up. I completed my own investigation of the faith and started attending Liberti. Hearing about Jesus' boundless love finally gave me the sense of peace that I had been searching for in other things. I think the thing that excites me most about Liberti is the focus on outreach and helping people that have either never had faith or who have lost their faith. Liberti's attitude about that made me feel welcome from the first sermon, and I am hoping to extend that message to others to help them discover the peace that I have found in Jesus' teachings.