Like so many others, Cheri Johnson loves to walk. She does it for her health, both mental and physical. It was on one of these walks that she passed by Advent Lutheran Church.
This was a time of great transition for Cheri. She had just lost her husband Bill, and she had recently moved from Central Minnesota to our area. New in town, and grieving her husband, Cheri felt lost and alone.
Something about Advent caused her to come to worship. It was hard to come to church alone as it emphasized Bill was no longer here. This was something they had always done together. But little by little, Cheri’s great personality came out and she met others at Advent who are similarly gregarious.
Cheri recalls her first volunteering at Advent to check people in for an event and visiting with her partner for this activity who was so friendly and welcoming. She can name all the people who she met early on that she connected with and who provided comfort. This was really borne out when she went back to her home church in Central Minnesota and realized people were not as warm and welcoming there. Cheri decided then to make Advent her church home.
Then COVID hit. Face to face connections were severed for a bit. When Advent held its first drive-by event, Cheri was surprised and delighted that Pastor Peter knew her and visited with her for some time standing outside her car. He got her on a CROSS committee and she now had a purposeful activity and a way to meet people.
Cheri finds joy in Pastor Elizabeth’s preaching and in the music at Advent. She is grateful for a community that includes her and has brought her support and fellowship. The friends Cheri has made, the people she now knows who she can laugh and have fun with, and who she cares about and who care about her, these are the things that keep Cheri at Advent.
Bringing comfort and care to new members is something Advent does well. Thank you Advent for reaching out to new members and all our neighbors with a smile, a word of encouragement and an ear that listens.