Treated Like Family
By James Stytle, Crawfordsville, Indiana, USA
I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the General Conference in October 2015, an LDS apostle shared a story about the beauty he saw at a Jewish service. I decided I would visit another church to see what it was like.
I chose the Community of Christ congregation in Indianapolis, Indiana. I really enjoyed my visit, and I have been attending there since November 2015. I invited my wife to the Christmas Eve service with me, and she has attended with me since then. We also spent a weekend at the Kentucky-Indiana USA Mission Center Reunion.
We are guardians of our granddaughter, and she gets excited every time we pull into the parking lot on Sunday mornings (it might be the toys in the children’s room or the doughnuts in the kitchen). She has severe autism and cannot understand reverent behavior. But the Indianapolis congregation has welcomed and accepted her—loud outbursts and all. Members show God’s love through living the Enduring Principle of Worth of All Persons.
The Indianapolis Congregation also demonstrates Jesus’ mission of compassion. Our granddaughter’s developmental pediatrician has said a service dog could help her. A well-trained service dog is expensive. When the congregation heard we were raising money for a service dog, members took up a collection and provided more than $700.
We are not members of Community of Christ, yet the congregation treated us like family.
I have spent almost a year as a Latter-day seeker. I feel like I am straddling two worlds. I believe Joseph Smith Jr. was called by God to restore the Gospel of Jesus. It is nice to know there is a place for me in the Restoration.
The sign outside the Community of Christ building in Indianapolis says “All Are Welcome.” My family and I have experienced that welcome.