Dynamic Downtown Worship in the Anglican Tradition

Eileen Williams

  1. How long have you been a member of St. Michael’s Church?

My husband’s childhood Charleston family vacations always included attending St. Michael’s Church on Sunday. Naturally, when we moved to Charleston in 2007, we began attending the sanctuary service. As our family grew, we began attending the Family Service and have been actively serving there for over 4 years.

  1. Please briefly describe your “spiritual autobiography” – ie how and when you have come to know Christ personally as well as a description of your current spiritual life and practice.

I was raised in a Christian home, attended and participated in “all things church” and went to a Christian school. I wasn’t a “rebellious child.” Around 9 years old, I remember sitting with a friend at church one Sunday who told me she was planning to walk down to the pulpit to tell the preacher she was ready to be baptized and commit her life to Christ. She asked if I wanted to come with her and not realizing what I was actually doing, I agreed (I think my parents watching from a few pews over were caught off guard!). It wasn’t until high school when all the teenage angst and quest for defining myself would prove I needed more than “I alone”. I don’t even remember exactly what I was bawling about but I recall sitting in my bedroom one night, feeling tense, lonely and lost. All I could think to do was open my Bible (the one given to me when I was baptized) and open the pages to one that was bookmarked. The bookmark itself was the kind that had your name, your name’s meaning, and a Bible verse. I remember reading the verse on the bookmark: “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8) After I read, I recall an overwhelming feeling of peace. At that moment, I knew that peace was totally and completely The Lord. I poured out all my worries, confessed my sins, and recommitted my life to Christ.

These days are spent raising little ones with my husband and trying to build a solid Christian foundation for them to have as they grow. They are very curious and answering their questions about Christianity has proven more difficult than 3rd grade math! While every day is a challenge, it is encouraging to see how even their answers when we jokingly ask “Who’s more right, mom or dad?” and they say, “neither, God and Jesus are!” show that maybe we’ve got a good start!

      3. Please tell us about your experience in sharing the Christian faith with others.

I have found that one passion in sharing Christ with others is through service. I have been involved in various service groups and have been able to carry some ideas over to the Family Ministry Task Force. While the Task Force is still young, we have had a great turnout with our Blessings Bags event and subsequently distributing those bags at the Hot Dog Ministry. My other passion is in music ministry and has always been since I was young. From playing the violin and piano during offertories in high school, to playing and singing in the Praise Band in the Family Service, music lifts everyone up in a way so powerful only The Lord can produce.

  1. Please tell us how you are currently serving Christ and at St. Michael’s Church and involved in our church community activities.

My current involvement at SMC is in the Praise Band and the Family Ministry Task Force. I have been playing and singing in the band for about 3 years. As a member of the Family Ministry Task Force, we are building a great program for the families of St. Michaels that I am excited to see grow and have my children be a part of. This past year, I assisted Chris and Paige with Children on Wednesdays Children’s Choir.

  1. Please describe your vision for what God is calling St. Michael’s Church to be.

As a youth, one of my greatest joys was our summer mission trips to inner city neighborhoods across the south and pairing with a local church to host a Vacation Bible School every summer. Through crafts, plays, stories, and games, we built relationships with these kids they didn’t have at home but knew they were desperately needing. Seeing their tears when we had to say goodbye left us heartbroken but also knowing we’d started a foundation in Christ that would hopefully continue. Not only did these mission trips introduce the kids to Christ, the impact the week would have on our youth group was nothing short of a yearly revival. To see young teens pour their hearts out to each other and to the Lord in ways we would not normally do in our school friend groups- only God could do that.

Growing up, two of my greatest influences were my high-school Sunday School teachers. They were women who we knew weren’t perfect but were humble enough to show us their faults, help us learn from them, and help support us in ways when parents or friends might not have been able to. I still keep in touch with them, 20+ years later.

I want those experiences for my children. I see a current generation of children being raised by Christ-centered families growing in Christ while sharing Christ with others. I want St. Michael’s to be known, not just as a historical downtown church, but as one that has a family life new families want to grow their children in.