GAELLE DUCHEINE

What themes in the human series have stood out to you?

That it’s really easy to be an observer, rather than a participant. Being a participant is very scary. Sometimes people can come into church with baggage, and all they want to do is just be told about God's love. People might be too scared to do anything but listen because they’ve been hurt before. I get it—I come from church hurt. But it was a reminder that our calling is to actively make disciples, to tell people about God's love and Jesus’ mission. You can’t know all this information and simply keep it to yourself.

The sermon about systems of power also touched me. Sometimes in church people don’t like to talk about what’s going on in the world because it’s touchy. I liked Pastor Josh’s boldness in talking about how can the church be an instrumental part of reversing what’s going on—not just with racism but with all injustice, like How can we solve world hunger or what can we do about homelessness. It actually ties into the idea of participating. We as people, and as a church, are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. We should be on the front lines helping and teaching others. 

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What attitude changes has this sparked for you?

Sometimes people try to be perfect when they come to church, but by building real relationships with people, I discovered that people come to church and they are broken. Nobody is perfect. Knowing that, I can’t sit there and not feel anything. If I can’t do anything but pray, then I’m going to pray; but if I can help, then I need to help. The more broken people I see, the more I feel my purpose and calling is to help in them being whole again. 

What has that meant for you in terms of actions?

Building real friendships with people. Not being a surface brother or sister in Christ—grabbing a coffee, hanging out and sharing our stories. We have to carry each other’s burdens: crying with people, laughing with them, praying with them, and dragging them to church when they don’t feel like going. It's about getting into the dirtiness of life with them and coming out the other side with them.

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