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Sharing Our Faith: Fran Hooper

Today, I want to talk about why I come to Cove.

Community – that’s why I started coming to Cove.

When I left home in Ann Arbor, heading east to my first job in Fairfax County in June 1972, my Mother’s last words to me were “now remember, you can always meet people in church.” While I suspect that she was really trying to say I might look for a good husband in church, I managed to avoid that message for thirty years.

But when Dennis and I bought our land on Fan Mountain 11 years ago, I remembered Mom’s words. My childhood friend, Susan Hitchcock, was a member of Cove and, while I had been raised as a Methodist, she had some nice friends so I figured I going to a Presbyterian church wouldn’t be too bad a thing, as long as I could remember to say debtors instead of trespassers.

I found that the Cove family was wonderfully eclectic with a wide range of opinions and points of view on social and theological issues. It was very comfortable not having to fit into a rigid "Presbyterian" or "Cove Church" mold. It permitted me to shape my own sense of Christianity and spirituality.

And the church dinners sealed the deal! The wonderful food and the community fellowship convinced me that I wanted to keep coming back.

Music is the second reason I come to Cove – the wonderful sounds provided by the choir and Linda have kept me coming to Cove on mornings when I really wanted to stay at home.

There are many Sunday mornings when I shut my eyes and become enveloped by the music. Sometimes there are tears under my eyelids as I listen. I love the fact that music plays a central role in our church and that it’s not uncommon for the choir to be half or a third of the congregation. After the service I love to listen to Linda’s music, closing my eyes again and just letting it roll over me.

And I also love the fact that Cove shares its wonderful music with others – the summer concert series, Heather’s impromptu concert, the Christmas Eve lessons and carols service.

Somehow growing spiritually myself slipped into the reasons I come to Cove. It probably started when I thought how much my Mom would enjoy the music and the peace that I found at Cove on Sunday mornings. I’d sit in the pew and have a silent conversation with her about it and then I started having conversations with myself about the sermon – what did it really mean to me in my life?

Jane’s wonderful sermons made me want to listen and learn and Josh’s sermons challenge me to understand the message of Thomas or the others that speak through his voice on Sunday mornings.

And finally I come to Cove to be of service. I’m not someone who is inclined to sit back and watch what’s going on – I’ve worked in the public sector too long; and my basic instinct is to get involved and see how I can help. Fortunately I’ve stopped working in Washington and I have more time to be involved at Cove and I appreciate having the opportunity to be of service at Cove and to be able to support the community that welcomed me when I walked through the door 11 years ago.

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