I came to faith in Jesus when I was four years old. My grandma babysat my sister and me one night, and she read me a story about Jesus. She told me that I could accept Jesus into my heart, and I did. While I have learned a lot more about God since then, I believe that was the moment when I first accepted Christ and believed in Him. Today, I am engaged to a beautiful girl and we are getting married in five months. I can truly say that God has orchestrated our entire relationship. In the way He has brought us together, I have seen how abundantly good He is. I am excited about being a formal member at Liberti, and am looking forward to the opportunities I will have as a covenant member.
I grew up in church, but came to know the Lord in a more personal, real way, after high school and college, when I had to choose for myself how to live and whether or not to go to church. I became a Christian at an early age, however it was not until the past few years that I've really begun to try to place Jesus at the center of my life and allow him to change my heart. God continued to pursue me and met me in my darkest hours when I was searching and straying from God. When I moved to Philadelphia and started going to Liberti Church, I joined a home group and began to spend time with people who spoke about truth and grace. Though I still struggle with sin, through the grace of God I no longer feel stuck in it as I have before. I am excited to join Liberti because it’s already my church home and a place where the Lord is teaching me new things about himself everyday through his word and through the believers around me.
I was raised in a Christian home and loved Jesus since I was a little kid but I didn't really start to understand and own my own faith until college. I was a part of a Bible study in college where I really learned the importance of Jesus in my life every day and I also met some wonderful Christian ladies who were not only great encouragers but great friends. I am excited to be a part of Liberti and have community with such honest believers and also be able to serve in our city together.
I accepted Christ at a young age, grew up in a Christian family, but my faith continued to evolve as I took more ownership of it through college and beyond. Since then, Christ, enduring periods of fluctuating attentiveness on my part, has been the most steadfast source of direction and companionship through different phases of my life. He enables me to see the world as full of people made in his image, and an opportunity for good. We are excited about Liberti because it's a community of people who share that enthusiasm for both Christ and their fellow men, from all walks of life.
Under God's mysterious sovereignty I came to faith as a child. Due to certain circumstances, my life should have gone in a very different direction. Through the years I was nurtured, mentored, and prayed for by my mother, grandmother, aunt, and deeply caring and committed church families. This reality has framed every aspect of my life. God’s inescapable mercy and grace have been lavished on my family and in ways that overwhelm me every time I think it through. Despite myself, I am learning daily what it means to trust and obey my Creator, Heavenly Father, Redeemer, and Counselor. He is all of these and more to me. I believe I have found in Liberti Church a community of believers that is committed to the Gospel in word and deed. I want to be a part of a people who are intentionally choosing to be the hands and feet of the body of Christ. Coming in covenant today is an answer to a deep longing/prayer I have carried in my heart for some time.
I grew up in a Christian family and was raised by two loving parents. I attended Church every Sunday but my faith became personal when I began college at Temple University. The on-campus ministry I attended supported me in tough times and truly grew my faith. I realize the importance of growing my faith and discipleship which is why I am excited to join the Liberti family.
I came to faith in Jesus when I was living in NYC in my mid-20s. Life was generally following the plan I had laid out for myself, but I felt that something big was missing. I started searching and was led to Redeemer, a church in NYC, which slowly changed my life and led me to faith. This has led to a better understanding of the sinfulness of all human hearts, including my own. Seeing how God has been gracious to us has helped me become more gracious in how I relate to others. I’m excited to come in covenant at Liberti because it feels like a true community church where it's easy to connect and have fellowship with others. But it's also a church that offers great teaching that you might only expect to find in a big church. To me, that's an incredible combination.
I was born into a Christian family and attended a small Christian elementary school in New Jersey as a child. I remember a precise moment in third grade when I really understood that "God who made everything walked on earth as a human being and then he hung from a cross until his death for me...because he loves me." I remember feeling sad, thankful and terrified all at once. However, it was really after college that God began to change my heart and I wanted to live differently. Being a Christian is feeling a mix of emotions: heartache because of the recognition of your worst human qualities and elation over God's love that protects you forever. As a Christian I see that even though the world teaching you to think in terms of "better than," God does not. God's grace is the great equalizer. I'm excited about joining this group of believers at Liberti Church. I'm looking forward to growing in my understanding of scripture with one another, developing friendships, and becoming a part of a group that looks to bring God glory by living differently in the world.
My family had poured into me since I was little and I was encouraged to pursue disciplines of prayer, reading scripture and being in Christian community from a young age. Through attending and eventually working at Ligonier Camp for 10 years, I learned more through service, experiencing freedom in Christ, building accountability with other believers, and using raw discussion to sharpen my faith. My faith was rocked as I began traveling the world and entered college at Eastern University where I was given space to reflect on larger issues that face humanity, most of which I had previously felt either sheltered from or apathetic to. My faith became renewed in college as I began to feel my heart aligned with where the heart of the gospel points us, receiving grace and seeking peace.
I've always known there is so much more to learn and I am continually in awe of God's vastness and creativity as an active and vital presence in my life. God has been teaching me a lot recently about receiving Him each day and not becoming overwhelmed by insecurity. As a social worker, I have felt burdened at times but have seen the beauty of Christ's face in the eyes of so many people. My prayer right now is that I will not merely sit in the brokenness that I have witnessed or felt, but that God will be proclaimed as the one who weaves all things together to be brought back to communion with Him.
It brings me joy to be involved in an active church body. I am excited to hold some responsibility for caring for the brothers and sisters that I have been worshipping with since September.
Growing up in a Christian family, church has always been a part of my life. For as long as I can remember "being a Christian" has always been my way of life. Being raised in the South everyone lived the provincial "Christian lifestyle." It wasn't until I went to a boarding school program in high school that my faith was truly challenged for the first time. That experience, along with moving to the Northeast for college, has really shaped my faith with the Lord. Throughout my time in Philly, He has really shown me what it means what it means to develop a more personal relationship with Him. Although I've been going to Liberti on and off for a few years, I've finally taken the steps to become more involved and attend more consistently in the past few months. I've joined a home group and through that have met so many amazing individuals. God has really shown me the positive impact that comes from surrounding yourself in a Christian community. I'm excited to continue growing in my relationship with the Lord and continuing to build a Christian community with the congregation of Liberti.
I was raised in a Christian family, so I’ve always known of and a lot about Jesus. A lot of my childhood to high school years were spent in a well-meaning family and church community, where I learned a lot of biblical knowledge but not necessarily the basics: that Christianity is not really about black-and- white, deeds and laws, being good or bad. It was only in college that I truly understood that Christianity is a relationship, dynamic and real and pervasive, through the help of an amazing and vibrant community at university, and later, at medical school. I had never met such passionate, joyful people before - these were Christians whose love for Jesus really did shine through in the way they moved through life and interacted with others around them. For the first time, I felt joy in my interaction with Christ. It was definitely an emotional education.
Medical school was particularly an amazing time for me, as in one of the busiest and stressful times of my life, God surrounded me with incredible people who were not only talented and wise and passionate for Him, but challenged me intellectually. “Iron sharpens iron” has never been more true than in discussions that would spring up during small groups at church and at school. Impressed by the questions and thoughts that came out during our small group sessions, I sought out answers through deeper study of the Bible, listening to the others’ sermons, and serious prayers, “working out my faith.” I had mentors and mentees, brothers and sisters that supported each other and loved each other in such a Christ-like fashion, it spread visibly through our school. I distinctly remember the first community group I went to - only four of us sitting across from each other in a very empty lounge - and at the end of my four years, looking around in awe at the group of at least 30 faithful members who barely fit into the room, filling the room with praise and music from the the top of their lungs. During those years, God was a very palpable presence, someone I could sense moving during the communal prayers at our church, the students at our school, and even during the quiet times between patients or during commutes on the subway.
Residency was a harder time for me. Ripped from this close community, solitary in a city of 8 million people, barely able to sleep or eat, rarely able to go to church, it wore me down eventually (although the first 8 months, my faith had never been stronger, with no one and nothing to depend on BUT God). It was very hard to feel God at all. As a very idealistic person, facing medicine in the “real world” was both disappointing and draining, and cynicism and anger took over. This also slowly spread to the rest of my life as well. In my disappointment, it was also very easy in New York to find comfort in other things, replace Him with other distractions. It was only by the grace of God - and the truth of his great love for us - that kept me hanging on - barely - to my faith. During this time, I attended Redeemer Church, which taught me that even without emotional highs, without the feeling that God is there, even in a world greatly broken and greatly imperfect, even when it seems easier to give up, even when I don’t have faith enough, the truth is that He is still there to hold me and pick me back up. So even though I felt numb and it was hard to remember who I was in Christ, I still knew who I was and who He was, and what he could do, even if it was hard for me to fully believe.
Coming back to Philadelphia was a blessing, I think. I was barely hanging on, but now I have more time in my fellowship program, fewer distractions. More time to refocus on God and learn to rekindle joy and emotion. To see the world and its people - “no ordinary people...no mere mortals” - through His eyes. To take what I learned and repeated to myself over and over during the times I couldn’t believe, to truly know, and then, to love and see. I wanted the world and my life to be a certain way, my path to travel a certain direction; now, with every ambition nearly razed down to its foundation, I have the space to sit in the quiet, learn to wait, and see him work even when I see nothing moving. To temper ambitions and hopes with contentment. To really, truly live to the fullest in the present while still retaining hopes about tomorrow. These realizations, and the actions that have been slow, but certainly coming in the wake of these realizations, are part of what God is teaching me currently in my life.
Part of the reason that I want to join Liberti comes down to this: again I see people whose passion for God shines through their joy in life, and in their communities and small group, they reflect Christ as they support one another. I want to learn from them, to be challenged again, and to help build on that fellowship. Liberti is active in the community, which was something that had really struck a chord with me at Redeemer - the heart for a city that is lost and broken but not without hope and the power to change. And as part of the city, I want to be a part of impacting its culture and being moved by it in return.