We’ve collected some thoughts from people at Asbury telling what they love most about Asbury or how Asbury has affected their life. Please read on!
It’s the thread that holds it all together. My friends – who I consider my family – outreach to the community, unconditional love, I found all that and more at Asbury. It’s simply a part of who I am now. It gave me a place of community and love like I had never known. Asbury and everyone and everything there, opened its arms and accepted me, and made me better than I ever thought I could be.
I simply am at home.
Asbury has been our family for the last 41 years, since we moved here from Wisconsin, away from our families. Many of the important friendships in our life began at Asbury. Some have significantly impacted our lives, as we shared times of deep sorrow as well as joyful times.
We have grown in our spiritual life when we participated in small groups. We grew during our individual preparations, but we gained even more from the other participants. Most of these groups have been short term, but sometimes we have enjoyed a particular small group so much that we have remained together for years through multiple discussion topics. Occasionally, we have felt able to commit to a full year group, such has Disciples; such studies have been especially rewarding by increasing our comfort with and deepening our understanding of the Bible, and rediscovering what many have learned before – that each time we read a passage, we can learn something new.
We are frequently reluctant to find time in our busy lives for service to others. It has been easiest to serve others at Asbury who we already know, whether by working on a committee or helping the caring committee serve those who are shut ins. When we have actually gotten our courage up to join a one day to one week mission project, such as to rebuild homes damaged by storms, we have enjoyed getting to know the people we were helping, getting to better know those we worked with, and have felt very good about making a positive difference in someone’s life. The glowing feeling sometimes lasts longer than the project did.
Art and Kathy Molvik
Asbury has been important in my life. Many years ago I had reached a point of extreme emptiness, helplessness, hopelessness. I was struggling with a broken marriage and was lost. I found myself drawn to Asbury. I parked myself in a pew and allowed the love of these people to heal my soul. I still had a mess to clean up but with the support of this community I found the strength and courage to begin the change, to begin again. I am now basking in the light at the end of the tunnel and am proud to be a part of this loving, healing community.
What I love about Asbury is its focus on sharing God’s love with all and its openness to allowing me to explore, learn, and practice how to love better.
People with a variety of backgrounds, interests, and ideas come together to grow in faith and serve others. We do so with love and respect. Anyone can find their place. That’s what I love about Asbury.
In 1991 after going through a pretty brutal divorce, I was looking for a church to attend (and a place where my daughters could grow up with some knowledge of religion). I was raised catholic, but didn’t attend the catholic church because I didn’t agree with many of their mandates and beliefs. I hadn’t attended church since before I was married in 1980, because (my now ex-husband) didn’t believe in structured religion. So now a single mother, I started my search by attending a baptist church, then I tried a Unitarian church, and also an Episcopal church.
My youngest daughter Becky was in kindergarten with Pastor Chuck’s twins. One day when Chuck and I were both volunteering in our kids classroom we struck up a conversation. I mentioned I was looking for a church to connect with, and he suggested I give Asbury a try. So I did. I was delightfully surprised that so many of my neighbors and parents of my kids friends were members or attended Asbury. To me it felt wonderfully secure, and I had a genuine feeling I was HOME. I’ve been here ever since. I believe my children and I, are better people because we are part of a sincere, compassonate community of faith.
I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Asbury has been important to our whole family since the Bireleys came to Livermore in 1928 and settled their church as Asbury. The Buckleys also were life-long members of Asbury since the 30’s and Rich and I met at the old Asbury Methodist church in 1958, our first official meeting so to speak. It has been a foundation of our lives and our faith walk. The lasting importance in our childrens’ lives has been a good foundation by our church in which they could branch out in their spiritual walk and have a lasting foundation set by our church.
The Christian community, which in my case is Asbury UMC, is highly important to me. I was raised in an actively Christian family and church became an important part of my life from very early on. I can remember with pleasure the junior choir led by my aunt. The moment of the pastor laying hands on me as I kneeled during Confirmation sticks to me through this day. The fun had with the youth group is a fond memory.
When arriving in Livermore at the beginning of my career at LLNL, the first place I went was the office of Don Fellers, pastor of Asbury at the time. I needed a place to stay and to eat. He made a couple of phone calls and I was set.
Over the years Asbury has taken on a central place in my life, helping to build my faith in God, providing a wonderful community of loving people, a great place to sing and an effective launching pad for missional service. I have been challenged to grow in study groups such as Disciple and given emotional and physical support during difficult times.
Asbury has been important in my life because it is more than a Sunday morning experience. Asbury goes beyond a church and is a community of faith, fellowship and friends. Seeing other members outside of Church during helps me keep connected to all of those things. Also the extension of my family to the Church family has created lifetime connections even if someone moves away.
Each year I seem to find among us, more “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR’s) persons sharing truthful, loving, compassionate, peaceful, and wise relationships seeking Christ-consciousness, which gives me joy for my community.
I am blessed to be associated with a group of people who give so much of their time and resources to help others and make our community and world a better place. Seeing how other people are so willing to give of themselves inspires me to do the same, even if my part is very small.