Janice’s Story

I just love this church, where I have opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I believe we’re all on a journey together, and that as you pray, worship, and join with others in Christian community, you can see God at work.

My husband, John, and I both grew up in Edina and returned here in 1992, though we didn’t have a church. But someone we really respected told us that the Holy Spirit was alive and well at CPC. We came in not knowing anything about the Presbyterian church, but we never looked elsewhere.

I have led Bible Study Fellowship and Community Bible Study discussion groups in the past. And I’ve been teaching a summer Bible study now for ten years, though when I think about it, the first Bible study that I ever facilitated was in my dorm room!

I want to help people know Jesus through the Bible, but I never saw myself as someone who was an “evangelist”—that sort of word makes me nervous. I’ve come to realize that no matter who you are, where you are, how much time you have or not, you can do something to help people see that there’s something a little different in your life. And that’s Jesus. Nobody got argued into heaven. But hopefully His love can shine through me.

In 2016 I retired from forty years of teaching, and I wondered, “Now what?” I knew CPC had a prayer shawl ministry, a way to give a gift of warmth and God’s comfort to others. My mother had taught me to knit when I was a girl, so I decided to go. Little did I know at the time, but because of the season of life my parents were in, I would be spending a lot of time at doctor appointments and the hospital. And what would I bring with me? My knitting. And people can’t resist asking what I am making. What an open door to talk with people! Once this young man, looking far different from this grandma with his body art and piercings, was watching me and eventually asked what I was making. I told him, and he said, “Oh, I believe in Jesus. I do. But my life . . . ” And this whole story came out of him. Who would ever think, when I was in such a horrible time with the care of my mother, with the stress, anxiety, and trauma—that God would bring this young man to me so that I could share with him about God’s love?

God continues to surprise me, and as I’ve gotten older and studied more and more in the Bible, I understand more about the character of God and the constant, loving care and companionship of Jesus in my life. He is at the core of everything I am and everything I do. I can’t wait to see what He places in my path next!