This article is sponsored by Hannah at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita.
A “fresh start.”
New beginnings can come in an array of brightly colored packages – a new school, a new job, a new friendship, a new city. My most recent “fresh start” happened just a couple of years ago when my husband and I made the decision to move our family from Nashville, Tennessee to Wichita, Kansas. Leaving our families and our beloved Southern comfort zones behind gave us both a mixture of emotions. I was totally excited to begin a new adventure as a family, but I was also a tad bit nervous. I wondered how a girl in her 30s would wander into a new city, not knowing a single person, and find community.
I hoped and prayed there might be similar women seeking new friendships like me.
After a few weeks of settling into our new Midwestern life, we were invited to a birthday party. At the party, I met a girl who’d also moved from Tennessee to Kansas nine years prior. Days after the party, I received a phone call from her, and she invited me to a women’s community group called “Hannah” at her church. She didn’t have to convince me – I was so there!
On the first day of Hannah, there was an opening brunch, and I remember walking into a room filled with women of all ages. I didn’t know a single person, but I grabbed a cup of coffee and walked in smiling….just hoping that someone might smile back and maybe even speak to me. Well, it only took a moment before I noticed one familiar face, and before I knew it, I was surrounded by a group of women chit-chatting about our recent move to Wichita. Another girl invited me to sit at her table and requested to be in my small group. Right away, I knew I’d found a very warm and inviting group of ladies, and I felt like Hannah was right where God would have me on that day.
As the year progressed, I was pleasantly surprised and grateful for what I had found at Hannah:
Community & Friendship
When I think of Hannah, I think of friendship. Friendships among women of all ages, stages, and backgrounds. I think of warm smiling faces, eyes that want to hear what you have to say, and women who want to walk alongside you through life’s ups and downs. Women who care. Women who show up. Women who love each other fiercely.
Teaching & Spiritual Growth
Hannah chooses a study each year, and the gifted ladies who teach bring powerful lessons from the Bible that are truthful, challenging, thought-provoking and inspiring. Hannah is taking a moment to step away from life’s distractions and having that precious time to explore faith. Week-to-week, the messages continually encourage me, and the lesson takeaways are always SO GOOD!
Mentorship & Encouragement
One of my favorite things about Hannah is the mentorship that exists within our mornings together. I have subsequently craved and greatly valued the wisdom, advice and encouragement that comes from seasoned women who have walked in my shoes before and have “been there and done that.” They share their life lessons and offer invaluable words of wisdom. Just as much, I have also cherished connecting with women who are in my same season of life. We share our struggles, celebrate our victories, and pray for each other. I believe we need women of ALL ages and stages in our lives, and I love this beautiful melting pot that exists at Hannah.
And, a place for your little ones? Absolutely! Hannah Kids is an engaging, fun environment full of amazing teachers who are passionate about teaching God’s Word to our children. It was always so comforting to know that while my heart was being nourished in one room, my little guy was learning and being “loved on” next door. A true win-win!
After my first year at Hannah, I was asked to step into a leadership position as a small group leader, and since then, I have experienced even more delight and thankfulness in being able to serve a community of women that I am so passionate about. In two short years, Hannah has become such a big part of my heart. If you are free on Thursday mornings, I hope you will consider coming for coffee and joining our amazing group of ladies.
We are learning, connecting, and walking together hand in hand.
Come as you are. Invite a friend to come along. Come find me, and you’ll probably get a hug! Trust me…coming from a girl who knew not a soul in Wichita, I think you will LOVE what you find at Hannah!