Erin Bladon

In Our Stories by Kim Eiffert

“I think we are done looking. We found our church.”

My family and I have been attending Grace Avenue United Methodist since December of 2011. We moved from the Memphis area in August of 2011 with 3 boys -ages 4, 5, and 7. Frisco seemed like a very nice fit. We left family, friends, and our beloved church family behind. I was raised in a large, traditional Methodist church and my family was there several times and week- serving in every ministry possible. The same pastor who congratulated me on Youth Sunday of high school graduation, performed our marriage and baptized all three of my children. That feeling of familiarity and support does not happen overnight and would be nearly impossible to find again. So, with the move, Drew and I took the opportunity to “shop around”.

We tried 8 churches in the area, several more than once, always attended adult Sunday School or small groups…really trying to find our own way. Drew and I knew that to make the commitment, we needed to experience as many options as possible. Honestly, I thought finding a church outside the Methodist tradition would be a smart choice. That way we would not be tempted to compare to what we had known and loved before.

Well, that process was draining, and apparently our children were feeling unsettled. Our son, Bradley attended the kindergarten Pumpkin Patch field trip and brought home the flyer about Grace Ave. He told us he wanted to try the church where he had been, however, it took us many weeks before giving into his requests. We lived across town and had never even driven by Grace Avenue UMC until the day we attended worship- and Sunday School. When we got in the car at noon, he said, “I think we are done looking. We found our church.” And that was that. Luckily, we did really feel at home in the Sunday School class. We were happy with the worship service and the programs offered in the bulletin. Although everything about Grace Avenue is not the same as our home church, being part of a Methodist congregation felt like home to us and to our children. Now our job is to raise them here, to model a 4G Faith and pray that they feel so connected to their church, they will find it hard to replace one day!

Now that Bradley is older and has more opinions to share, he would still choose Grace Ave again, and all our boys attend as many events, camps, and service opportunities as possible. I truly believe, at 5 years old he felt the need for Christian community even if he didn’t know what that meant.