Stewardship 2024: The view from our pews

Annie Ingram

April 28, 2024

Our family started coming to NHCC in spring of 2023, and we aim to come every Sunday we can. We weren’t always regular churchgoers. My husband and I both grew up in the church–on opposite sides of the world. Kippy in Melbourne, Australia, and me, west of Chicago. As young adults, we were swept into other things like friends, college, and travel. When our paths eventually collided in Cambridge, we started dating. We shared nightcap conversations about the importance of community and connection for an enriched life. We got married in 2016 and Maddie and Charlie joined us in 2017 and 2019 respectively. COVID served up an interesting time, including a wild decision to have a third child, which of course resulted in four with the arrival of our twins Jane and Lucy. We were overjoyed (and overtired) with the family we had built and suffice to say, church was put on hold. 

In 2022, our world changed with Maddie’s cancer diagnosis. While it was the hardest time of our lives, it also introduced us to the incredible Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana Farber. The people who took care of us at the JFC showed us the most beautiful side of humanity. From Child Life, to music therapy, to Hole in the Wall Gang camp, to our team of pediatric oncology nurses (if you’ve ever met a pediatric oncology nurse, you know they are angels on Earth)–the JFC is people helping people for no other reason than adding value to the lives of others, because they are inspired by something bigger than themselves.  

When Maddie wrapped up treatment and we spent less time at the JFC, it took a little bit for me to realize that something was missing. Meetings, sports, or carpools weren’t filling the void. I missed the Dana Farber community. The presence of philanthropy, connection, and simple acts of kindness. I also knew I wanted our kids to learn how to live life this way themselves. So we came to church. Well actually, I watched some Zoom recordings of Ken first, and then we came to church. 

And what we found at NHCC was a building full of warm, welcoming people- all on a mission to help others and connect together. I also found peace and quiet, thanks to the fantastic childcare from Rachel and Gabe in the nursery. Each week brings soothing music, passionate song, and inspiring words. It brings thoughtful conversation, stained glass to look at during the postlude and, to quote my son, “COOKIES!”

Wendy’s CE program teaches our kids, encourages them to ask questions, and she always somehow remembers their birthdays. We’ve baked pies, made sandwiches, basted turkeys, folded coats and towels, and sold lemonade. All in the name of helping our community. The weekly ritual seems small at first, but it has a compounding effect and is something we all look forward to on Sunday mornings.

NHCC brings me peace, connection, hope, and the opportunity to put a little more good into the world. I love our Sunday hour here and what I bring with me into the new week ahead. I’m grateful for this place and for all of you. Our family is feels a little more whole because of it. Thank you!

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