new church, youngest member
another from the prayers and processions series that i'm working on faith and it's expression in our community:
Stephanie Goetsch clamps the cloth between her teeth and curls her newborn tight.
A scattering of circular tables dots the gym floor and four basketball goals frame the sidelines. Red lights on small scoreboard spell time instead of the score, and a large cross looms on stage as a trio of musicians warms up.
It's almost time for church.
“We started the church in September and he (Luke) was born in October,” Goetsch says. “He's the first lifetime member. In fact, he's automatically a member because we are.”
The 26-year-old attends The Gathering United Methodist Church, a burgeoning congregation that meets in the gym of Courthouse Community United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach. It holds two services a week and targets young adults.
"We like it because it's more family oriented,” Goetsch says. “Because it's a new church, we have more input into how things are.”
Reverend Rachel Gilmore, 28, started the church. "We're meeting a need,” she explains. “That's really the only reason to start a church.”
Gilmore adds with a smile: “Right now we're like the college kid who comes home after they graduate, before they can go out on their own.”