Around this time last year, Gwen and her family were looking for a church. They’d visited a few in the area but hadn’t yet found a place to call home.
Then a friend invited Gwen and her son to Hoboken Grace’s Easter Egg Hunt.
“I thought it’d be fun,” she says, but she didn’t have any other expectations.
Gwen assumed it’d be a basic Easter egg hunt, with eggs hidden around a few shrubs and trees. But when she arrived at Mama Johnson Field that Saturday, she was struck by how big the event was. There were additional activities and games — even photo opportunities with the Easter bunny.
She was also impressed by how organized the event was, and how welcome the volunteers made her feel. “I’d never seen a church put on an event of that scale, and start on time,” says Gwen. “And everyone at each of the stations was so friendly.”
Gwen thought that maybe the church would be the same way. So shortly afterwards, she and her family visited Hoboken Grace for the first time.
Gwen says she felt welcome the moment she walked through the door. She still remembers being greeted by Sarah, who Gwen says “had the biggest smile” she’d ever seen and made her feel right at home. She also began connecting with the messages each Sunday. “I started understanding that God is not an angry God, but a God who loves you and wants a relationship with you,” Gwen says.
Gwen and her husband eventually joined a dinner group. The couples in the group “just clicked” and would have playdates or go to the movies together outside their usual meetings, she says. But it was during those weekly dinner group meetings that Gwen found an intimate setting where they could share their thoughts about walking with God. To Gwen, dinner group has become like an extended family, where everyone roots each other on.
“I never knew you could have a community like this,” she says.
Gwen also credits her dinner group with encouraging her to be more intentional about her walk with God. While she had been thinking about getting baptized for a while, she says it was those conversations with her dinner group that prompted her to take that step.
“To do it now, when you really understand what it means, is really special,” she says.
Since then, Gwen has gotten plugged into a team, and you’ll also see her next Saturday at this year’s Easter Egg Hunt. Gwen will be there again with her son, watching him hunt for eggs at Mama Johnson Field. This year, she’s even invited a friend.
Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of making the Easter Egg Hunt happen! To volunteer on Saturday, April 8th, click here.