Twenty-five years ago, Rick and I opened our home to a Bible study. It started deviously with my desire to get my husband to church. After watching the inner workings of a large denominational church in Southern California where we lived for seven years, Rick wanted no part of another. I figured the only way I’d get him to church was to bring the church to him. So I asked Pastor Rick Hahn of Sebastopol Christian if he would be willing to teach a home Bible study. He said yes – if my husband agreed to it. (My) Rick shrugged and I quickly invited the same neighbors who had invited us to church.
(My) Rick loved it. So did I. We learned more about Jesus and His teachings in that year than I had learned all the years of growing up in a church. We were both baptized together on May 6, 1986.
Five years later, we moved to Windsor, a growing bedroom community north of Santa Rosa. We opened our home as soon as the furniture was placed. Some in the Sebastopol group followed. Others joined. Rick Hahn made the drive up and continued to teach. I started baking chocolate chip cookies to treat regular attendees – and lure new ones. Some went on diets. Our daughter, Shannon, cut out cardboard “cookies” for those following the MacDougall program. We all had a good laugh!
After twelve years in Windsor, Rick and I moved again, this time to Santa Rosa. The group followed, even those as far away as Cloverdale. Others joined. Some moved away. Two have gone home to Jesus. We all continue to pray one another through trials and tribulations — and a multitude of praises.
When Pastor Rick was called to another church in Hawaii, he passed the mantle of teaching to my husband. After twenty-five years of running his own aviation business, (my) Rick finally had the chance to use his UC Berkeley degree and teach history. He dove into study. He relishes everything he’s learning, shares his passion and uses the same expository, verse-by-verse method we have loved.
I continue to drink in the Word of God, the deep discussions and fellowship. And I bake every Tuesday afternoon. Every time I do, I think of Mom who always kept a jar full of chocolate chip cookies for company. I’ve added a handful of Heath Bar chips to her Tollhouse recipe and share her joy as loved ones walk in our door heading into the kitchen for a treat and to the living room for a night of conversation.