On Wednesday, December 27, I learned that bringing the families of SGC together for a night of fellowship will never be an issue when roller skating is involved. It was my first official church family skate event at the Cherry Hill Skating & Fun Center, and despite the fact that it had been years since I set foot on a roller skating rink, I felt quite welcome.
Sometimes, attending an event can be an intimidating experience. It could be the size of the crowd; the more people present, the more unfamiliar or fearful one might feel in that environment. It could also be the activity taking place. For me, it was both. So when I entered the building and was immediately greeted with warm smiles by the pastoral family, I knew I could relax a little.
People of all ages were taking to the rink with perfect ease. Gliding effortlessly in the wind. Surely, skating is second nature to the people of SGC. And it’s possibly due to the fact that it has been an annual church family tradition for over 20 years. It was also one of the first traditions created at the time of SGC’s church plant. “It started with my dad (Warren Boettcher) and Wendi Wilson, and their desire to make memories for our church,” said Julie Moon. “I would go as a kid and then a teenager. It was always fun to bring your new CDs you got for Christmas and ask the DJ to play your new "Newsboys" or "DC Talk" album!”
And while this is recognized as an SGC family event, it is not strictly reserved for SGC members. One of the most refreshing moments of the night was observing the conversations between church family members and non-SGC members.
“The thing that I love most about this event is the fun time of fellowship for both adults and children,” said Abby Mosher. Mosher was invited by the Soffer family. This is her second year attending. “My son has made many great connections and enjoys any opportunity to be with SGC folks!”
Moon couldn’t agree more. “We took a hiatus for a while, but now our kids are old enough to participate, and it is a looked-forward-to memory for them now!”
I too was able to create a memory that night that provided a great sense of comfort. I scoped out the scene for a good minute trying to make a connection. And there, off to the side of the skating wall, I spotted my people. To be honest, some of these people did not know me per se. But in our quick exchange of looks we offered each other a familiar reassurance, and in some moments, physical support.
See, these were my people because they were the ones who everyone new probably shouldn’t be on the rink. These people were slowly developing a relationship with the sport. And similar to my experience as a new SGC member, it was a great reminder of one’s courage and determination to be a part of something special where new memories are created.