Sherry Hester

My name’s Sherry and I’m a retired post office worker. I use the days to spend time with my dog, Beau. I love him. We spend time together everyday taking walks and just being together. I love working on my home, especially working with plants inside and outside. There’s something about plants. They add a relaxed, home atmosphere and just make a place feel like a home. Our fellowship in the church does that as well. Cause fellowship opens up the church to new people who come in. They feel welcome, they can sense the care. You can feel it. It really gives you that family feel that you should feel at church.I love Jesus. We have a special relationship. Jesus has set me free from things that enslaved me. Ephesians 3:20 says Jesus is able to do abundantly more than we can think or imagine... Even more than we can think! That covers so much that you don't even know. I'm so busy asking, but he does more than I can even think to ask. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. That He can and will do more than we can even imagine. It’s important to me specifically because I need His protection. I need His protection over my home and those that try and hurt my home. I need protection over my heart from what I allow into my heart and those that may seek to hurt my heart. I need protection in my thoughts and other things. Jesus is my protector. He’s our protector. ~ Sherry Hester

"I work at Lipscomb and Pitts insurance and I'm also a helper and encourager to young singers and worshippers. I'm a seeker of peace and beauty in life. Whether it's spending time in the outdoors or working outside tending to plants and things, I just enjoy taking it all in.

As a kid I used to see the church as exclusive. It was this "we've got it right they've got it wrong" attitude that I bought into. Now I see the church as a whole, inclusive, the body of Christ, seeking to love and meet people where they are. The grid through which you see life, your family background, your past, all of it, God isn't interested in right, He's going to meet you where you are.

That's one of the most important aspects of the church in my life. Acceptance. I know and feel I can be honest with people in the church. Even though I may not be doing what others think I should be doing all the time, I'm unconditionally accepted. And it's that acceptance, that love of Christ that compels us. I want to live in that. I want to dig deep into that acceptance and flourish in it and let it drive me to live for Christ, not out of guilt but because His love compels me.

God is my hero and champion. Life is not easy and my life is not easy. Through our own choices and mistakes or the choices and mistakes of others, life, in general, is not easy. The fact that he's my champion means I don't have to worry about how my life will turn out. He's got that. Recently, I needed a job and got a job in the craziest way possible. God surprised me and did something unbelievable. I've heard stories of God doing miraculous things, but I hadn't experienced that in a long time. He's my champion, He's got me. He's my provider and my tireless pursuer. Even though I don't deserve this job; I don't have the qualifications for this job, yet God provided for me in ways I never thought possible." ~ Amy Redden Smith ‪#‎facesofc3‬‪#‎c3memphis‬ ‪#‎c3volunteer‬ ‪#‎story‬ ‪#‎yourstory‬ ‪#‎church‬ ‪#‎champion‬ ‪#‎grace‬‪#‎noothername‬ ‪#‎Jesus‬ ‪#‎namesnotnumbers‬ ‪#‎redemption‬

Colin Kidder

"I'm a full time picture framer. I really enjoy what I do. It's very hands-on...kind of creative, craft work. But I'm also an artist, (semi-professional) working on a large outdoor sculpture for the city of Memphis, hoping one day to transition into a full time artist. I actually designed my own tattoo and had it put on my back. To be honest I did it kind of as an art project, but I was also trying to be a rebel.

Looking back I realize now that I grew up in a really great church environment. But I was a free thinker. I wanted to come to my own conclusions about faith.

So, around age 9 or 10 until my early 20's I had a pretty negative view of the church. Again, not because my experience with people or the church was bad, I never felt condemned or judged, I think I just saw hypocrisy and questioned what people believed. I thought a lot of what people believed was stupid or fake. I sat through a lot of church services that were boring, irrelevant and kind of meaninglessly ritualistic. So I began searching for something real. I visited temples both Hindu and Buddhist working through my doubts.

I feel like I was led back into the church through some friendships in my life. My girlfriend at the time said it was very important for us. I gave it a shot and found a great community for me. Even after we broke up, it was the relationships and community I found that kept me coming. I realized a lot of my previous feelings of the church were personal. It was me being young and judgmental.

I think we were made for community. It's a joyful thing to share love for people and be loved. That community is motivating and guiding for me. There's so much distraction in everyday life, being a part of that community helps me with my priorities.

Jesus is: a way of being close to God and receiving forgiveness. The need for personal forgiveness is so hard to understand and so difficult to admit the need. We do struggle and suffer and we do need the love that is offered through Jesus, that he gives forgiveness rather than condemnation. A relationship with God is still something that's difficult to grasp and I feel like I'm just beginning to understand that. I grew up spending so many years feeling God is there and he's pretty much good, but very distant. I felt like he was involved in the world but not approachable for me. Now I realize that God is sovereign and in control and knowing that takes the pressure off of me. If I'm going through something difficult, trusting that He's in control and that He loves me relieves my need to control my life."