September 5, 2021
Tom Moser, Church Chair
Christ In The Nursery
The first person we met at Bethany got down on her knees as we walked into the nursery with our almost two-year-old daughter. We were nonbelievers, never heard of the Covenant, had no understanding of the Bible, the fellowship of believers, or what it meant to be called into discipleship. We thought it was important to have our daughter involved in some type of church activity, so we started going to local churches that had a nursery or preschool program. Our daughter had been through this Sunday morning routine where she got dressed up and we took her to another church where she would end up in a classroom or nursery full of strangers. On this Sunday, by the time we got out of the car on Evergreen Street and were directed to the nursery in the church basement, our daughter (Nikki) was hanging on to my leg protesting another hour of abandonment. We opened the door and across the room was Eva Collinson working in the nursery and when she saw our little girl she got down on her knees and threw open her arms with a smile that is forever etched on my mind. Nikki let go of my leg and ran across the room into Eva’s arms and love. Debbie and I stood for a moment, looked at each other in amazement and quietly closed the door, which was the opening of doors to a new life and journey.
After leaving the nursery we went upstairs to the sanctuary with the idea we would sit quietly, not get too involved and just observe, which had been our pattern at other churches. Our goal was to sit in back, put a dollar in the collection plate, sing a few songs, say as little as possible, and generally be a spectator. That worked at other churches, but not so much at Bethany. We looked around and soon recognized people in the congregation and people recognized us. Dennis Swanson, who I recognized as a member of the Skagit County Board of Adjustment greeted us after the worship service and Debbie was recognized by Becky Vetvick from the Skagit Valley Medical Center. We were introduced to Pastor Dwight Nelson and invited for coffee in the basement, which is where we were going anyway to get our daughter.
Bethany was a multi-generational church in 1983 with a young pastor, a talented choir and people who loved Jesus, much like Bethany today. There was a sense of being invited to a place and community that started to grow as we continued to return on Sundays over the next several months. Then we were invited to adult Sunday School to study Scripture, which was a new concept to us. We sat and studied among people who carried Scripture in their hearts, heads, and hands. Within a few months I realized that our search for a church had come to an end without thinking about why. We soon joined a fellowship of believers, became believers, and have never left. This is where we found Jesus, starting in the nursery.
Tom Moser, September 2021