It’s with so much JOY that we get to celebrate baptisms this weekend (1/28 & 29) as we see the visible demonstration of individuals identifying with Christ!
Kathy Petersen (formerly Kathy Clark before marrying her husband Rodney in 1994) recently began serving on staff at Grace as the director of Women of Grace after a 30-year career in higher education. She has two daughters who are now 21 and 19 years old. Although she has many roles in life, her most treasured ones are wife and mother.
As Kathy prepares to get #dunked on Saturday, she reflects on her faith journey and how life has led her to the water:
I was blessed to be born into a family which offered a legacy of faith. My parents were believers who raised me in the church and always pointed me to God. My grandparents, who were also instrumental and important people in my life growing up, were amazing people of faith and lived their lives accordingly. I was baptized as an infant, accepted Christ as my personal Savior at 14, and confirmed in the church. Praying parents and grandparents, consistent church attendance, VBS, and attending youth group, summer camp, Campaigners and Young Life were all part of my faith formation. Jesus was the true center in my formative years. And for this I am ever grateful.
Since I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior as a teenager, I am confident that He protected me a guided me through what could have been turbulent high school and college years. Without a doubt He placed other godly friends and adults in my life to help me through the tough spots when life got hard and painful. Despite my strong will and tendency to learn things the hard way, God always drew me back to Him. As a young adult (OK maybe still today) I made my fair share of willfully disobedient decisions, but our loving Father extended grace as only He can. His steadfast love was the one constant for me during my graduate school years where I was told that intellectual development and faith development were inversely related. God proved that to be false and kept me in His care and helped me to discern His call when so much was trying to call me away from Him.
Life with Jesus is a great journey. I have been so privileged to be used by God to serve in different ministry areas and opportunities. With each experience God teaches me more about who He is and helps me to see where I need to learn and grow. I am passionate about women and pointing them to Christ. My position at Grace is a gift from God that allows me to live in my “sweet spot” doing His work. How amazing is that gift!
I am being baptized on Saturday to publicly declare to others that Jesus Christ is not just my Savior but He is also the Lord of my life.
As I write this I am reminded of something Kelly Minter wrote in her study on Ruth “At its simplest, I’ve been given a stunning heritage I did nothing to earn; and that’s the beauty of legacy. It is a gift we leave for others.” The legacy from my grandparents and parents pointed me to Jesus. The greatest gift I can offer is to share this legacy and help others to know Jesus and His saving grace.
Baptism at Grace
During all worship gatherings on Baptism Weekends, we celebrate the very reason we exist as a church: Christ’s mission to make disciples, baptizing and teaching in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 19-20). We share testimonies of how Jesus changes lives now and for eternity. And the best part… we baptize with a joy that’s out of this world!