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April 27, 2021

Dear Embry Hills,

My time serving at Embry Hills as an intern is coming to an end soon. I have truly enjoyed my time serving here for almost a year. It has been an interesting year also as I started during the pandemic and when church gatherings were not allowed. I’ve met many of you through online groups, helping Lee deliver Upper Room devotionals, and being Dottie’s pupil during recordings. Even though interactions were very limited because of the pandemic, I learned a lot about the history of the church itself and the stories of quite a few individuals and I would like to share what I have learned.

During my first devotional delivery I met the Stowe family. The Stowe family shared with me their love for music and yearning to play again with others in person. I also learned that the Stowe family creates knitted head caps for the homeless. I was told the reasoning behind the caps is Matthew 22:39 “…love your neighbor as yourself.” The Stowe family showed me how creative your faith can be.

Another experience I had was with Val, the woman who loves to sing. Austin and I had the opportunity to have dinner with her at one of her favorite restaurants. She shared many stories about her family and many church experiences. She always was smiling through the dinner and conversations. We were introduced to the owners and they also shared some stories they had with Val. The dinner experience was refreshing, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The dinner ended with us having two different desserts. I am very sorry for that Val (currently laughing), I wanted to taste one dessert and the chef brought out two and I couldn’t help myself. The desserts were delicious, and I am thankful for the experience.

Another memory of mine took place in a financial meeting, I think. I learned a lot about church financials and the importance of good stewardship of resources. It was during this meeting I learned something about Jim Deichert. I learned that he plays Call of Duty (war themed video game), now whether this is true or not, I couldn’t stop visualizing Jim Deichert playing Call of Duty. It was the most hilarious thing I could imagine, a man who has challenged me in a friendly manner during the Joyful Sunday group gathering playing a video game. I am currently laughing as I write this memory of mine. I finally met Jim in person during an outdoor worship experience, and it was great to see him in person to fully take in who he is as a person.

I’ve also met quite a few others in one-on-one meetings or through conversations during an outdoor gathering. I learned that there are many serving the church in different ways and that there are many who seek to understand God through theological discussions. I’ve learned about the struggles of transition during a pandemic and how a church adapts to such circumstances while trying to establish new routines and practices. I’ve also learned the importance of technology and Dottie’s role with worship. Dottie will forever be my Jedi master of online worship and I shall forever be her pupil.

My time at Embry Hills has been very thoughtful, exciting, adventurous, and educational. I truly appreciate the stories that have been shared and the personalities of many. Embry Hills is doing so much and has the potential to do many other things for the surrounding community as the body of Christ. I believe that combining the mind of Christ with the heart of Christ can truly change an individual or a whole community. I believe Embry Hills has the potential to truly combine both the mind and heart of Christ when finding different ways to serve others as a way to love your neighbor. I hope to see you soon either at worship or an event at the church! May God bless you in many ways! As a parting gift, I would like to share the lyrics to one of my favorite songs that help me focus on God every day.

Cherokee Morning Song

We n’ de ya ho I am of the Great Spirit, it is so.

We n’ de ya ho I am of the Great Spirit, it is so.

We n’ de ya, I am of the Great Spirit,

We n’ de ya, I am of the Great Spirit,

ho, ho, ho, ho. It is so, It is so, it is so, it is so.

He ya ho, he ya ho, Great Spirit, it is so, Great Spirit, it is so

Ya ya ya Great Spirit, Great Spirit, Great Spirit

God bless and may God’s peace be with you!

Angelo Martinez, Ministry Intern

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