My friends back in Albany, NY often ask, “Tiffany, seriously. What’s so great about Rochester? Why would you rather be in Rochester than Albany?”
Okay, so Rochester itself is pretty cool. It’s artsy, lots to do (especially in summer), and is home to Wegmans grocery stores. But I get it. It’s not NYC. It’s not San Diego. It wastes nine of its precious months on winter. (Personally, I think the designers of Rochester should have built the city in a southern state with no snow, but that’s beside the point.)
If I’m being honest, I’ve tried to get out of Rochester for years. I’ve prayed for God to send me anywhere — anywhere! — except for here. (And except for Canada, Alaska, or Antarctica. So anywhere without yearlong winters.)
And then about three years ago…my prayers started changing. Rochester began to feel like home. Why?
Because I fell in love.
No, c’mon people, it’s not a boy. It’s my church.
The five reasons I love my church so much that I would live in winter-hugging Rochester:
5) Saturday morning prayer is probably my favorite time of the week. (Or one of my favorites, anyway.) I love, love, love the unhurried flow of worship.
4) You never know what’s going to happen during the services. It’s like my obsession with spy adventures put into a church setting. Sometimes crazy things happen, which is fun, exciting, and one of my favorite things ever! You never know what to expect, and I love that.
3) We hang out and eat together after church. Sometimes (like last week) we even had pony rides along with the cook out (as you can see from the picture above). Ummm….yes, please!!
2) I love the feeling of community — grabbing coffee with friends before church starts, meeting new people after service, exclaiming over each other’s adorable outfits… I love that.
1) It’s the worship though that really gets me every time. So real, raw, vulnerable… It stirs your soul, facilitates an environment to focus on the Lord, encourages you to pursue God alongside other people. There’s simply nothing quite like it.
So for all my friends who ask me, “Why on earth do you love Rochester so much — of all places?” Well…there you have it. It’s because of my church.
(But if Rochester were to relocate to southern California, I would have no objections.)