Carole & Dan Felciano
Thirteen years ago, Carole and I could not even spell “Murfreesboro,” even as we were traveling across the country to our new home. Carole had accepted a transfer with the company where she worked, and the opportunity seemed right at that stage in our lives to try something new and refreshing. Having both been raised as Christians, one of our first priorities when we arrived in town was to establish a church home. The welcoming team that greeted us on that October morning were Ed McClung and Tim Seneker. What a team, what a welcoming and loving community of people at St. Paul’s! As we were to learn later, St. Paul’s is noted for its hospitality.
Not having the DNA to just sit in the pew, we both became involved in several ministries and started to form relationships with fellow parishioners that have grown over the years. Neither of us was familiar with the term Time, Talent and Treasure, so when the church offered the Gifts and Talents Workshop, we were excited to participate. At the conclusion of that course, it became evident to us that, in Christian and biblical stewardship, God owns everything; we are merely managers or administrators acting on His behalf. Understanding this concept, it was now time to put the plan into action. From that moment to the present, we have pledged to the Stewardship Campaign annually.
As a downtown church, St. Paul’s has the responsibility to serve the local people of God who need a helping hand. Liz Huber, the Assistant to the Rector for Outreach, has done an outstanding job bringing ministries to this segment of our population. New to Outreach is our Connect Program, providing a supportive location for people to come and address their financial needs and other problems they may be facing. This is a very worthwhile program with which I am honored to serve.
On May 8 this year, Carole had major back surgery and was also diagnosed with cancer. Yes, the news was devastating, alarming, shocking—and any other adjective that comes to mind. But after taking a deep breath and praying, we realized that God was in charge and, if we just listened and had faith, the outcome would be positive. When our church family was made aware of the situation, the response was overwhelming and still brings a tear to my eye: prayers from Daughters of the King and church members, Communion at home on a weekly basis, get-well cards and wishes, phone calls, texts, and all kinds and types of meals. I will admit that some days are harder than others, but with God’s outstretched hand always on our shoulder and tremendous support, love, and encouragement from our church family, this journey is being made a lot easier. Thank you, church family!
One thing we know for sure: we are right where we are supposed to be, both literally and figuratively. God has made sure of that. And we believe that God led us to St. Paul’s 13 years ago when we first moved to Murfreesboro because He knew this church would be a large part of our family story. We now know how to spell “Murfreesboro,” and sometimes we even say “y’all.”
“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 RSV