A Glimpse of Heaven
To me, St. Paul’s is a glimpse of what Heaven is. I believe this church is the epitome of what God intended community on earth to be. In my time at St. Paul’s, I experienced love and fellowship from a community of believers unlike anywhere else in my life—friends and unfamiliar faces alike never failed to extend welcoming gestures and display genuine love for me and each other.
My Confirmation is one of the dearest memories I have at St. Paul’s. Growing up in a different denomination was difficult for me in many ways, and my biggest struggle was finding a sense of belonging in the churches I grew up in. I first attended St. Paul’s in the summer of 2016 and fell in love with it after just a couple of visits. I knew this was a place where I belonged! Soon I participated in Pilgrimage (where I got to know some of the sweetest, most caring people) and learned about the Confirmation process. I knew right away, it was something I wanted to do, but because of a difference from where my family attended church, this could not happen for a while. After a long period of prayer and waiting, I got confirmed in June 2018 in front of my beloved St. Paul’s family, and my immediate family as well. I vividly remember holding back tears when receiving my Confirmation certificate. In just a couple of months, I would go off to college, but I knew St. Paul’s would always be my home.
I became involved with our Youth Ministry for a period where I got to know Rick Byrne. I am immensely grateful for this experience. I also got invited to participate in the Youth Retreat but was unsure whether I could afford it. Then one day, I learned someone (and today I still do not know who this was) helped cover my expenses so I could attend! It was another moment I knew God’s hand was at work at St. Paul’s. On the day of my Confirmation, I received a Book of Common Prayer signed by all our youth leaders. Whenever I open it now, I smile broadly knowing how blessed this community is.
Because I am now a sophomore at UTK and live in Knoxville, I am not presently involved with any other ministries at St. Paul’s. However, I still give God thanks and praise for my time at this church, and I think of and pray for you all consistently!
The people, the ministries, and the atmosphere of this church are unlike any other, and I confidently believe God is actively at work in this community and in the work it is doing.
- WORSHIP—11 a.m. service (our choir is phenomenal!)
- SERVE—Pilgrimage, Youth Ministry
- GIVE—I give to St. Paul’s because it is the most godly, loving, and welcoming place I have ever known.