I was born into a Lutheran family. My mother's family was several
generations of Lutheran going back to the days of Martin Luther in Germany. I was baptized Lutheran at the Grace Lutheran Church in Phillipsburg,
As a child I attended Sunday school there and at the St. James "Straw Church" Lutheran
Church that sat across Rt. 22 from our family snack bar "Bud's Snack Bar".
However while attending the NY World's Fair in 1965 I signed up for a Bible course
in the Vatican Pavilion. There was this compelling painting of Christ coming down from Heaven with angels surrounding him,
depicting His second coming.
Below the painting was a table with literature and a signup sheet for the Bible course.
The prize for completing the course was a Bible. I signed up and several weeks later my first lesson arrived by mail.
Once I completed the entire course I was to receive my Bible. Well, I completed it,
and one day a very tall dark haired man came into our store and asked my mother if he could see Diane. My mother introduced
herself and they spoke. Mom, called for me to come into the store.
I was then introduced
to the Reverend William Dorn of the Phillipsburg, NJ Seventh Day Adventist Church. He handed me my Bible and invited me to
attend his church. My mother was a very devoted Christian, who loved everyone unconditionally. Therefor she trusted all religions. She was very excited
for me to attend their church service.
For several years Reverend Dorn came to give a ride to me and any other child
who would join me in attending their Sabbath Service in Phillipsburg.
I joined the church at the age of sixteen, and they re-baptized me through full emersion.
I became a camp counselor at their summer camp, and was offered a chance to attend their private high school, Garden State
Academy in Tranquility, NJ.
Just as I was about to go away to this private school, I panicked and decided to cut
all ties with this religion. I kept hearing comments from one of the ladies(member of the church) that alluded to getting
me away from my family. There were comments about them not honoring Saturday as the Sabbath, and other precepts of the Seventh
Day Adventist Church.
These comments were so contrary to my own mother's unconditional love and acceptance
of everyone. My family ties were much stronger than those with that religion.
It was during a blizzard
that I sat down and wrote a
letter to the church explaining my feelings, and asking them to please allow me the right to cut all ties. I was quite surprised
that they did allow me that right and did not try to pursue me from then on.
Although I left the Seventh Day Adventist Church
I have a deep respect and love for their followers. I agree with most of their precepts. If anything I feel that
as a human being I fall short of living up to them, and praise Jesus for dying for my sins. If not for the Grace of
God I would be living in sin.
Throughout most of my young adult life I attended several different churches of several
different denominations. My daughters attended a church run school in Phillipsburg for three years.
In 1991 I attended a service at Unity of Lebanon as recommended by a mentor Gwen Roquemore
PHD. I so loved their "New Age" style of worship, mixed with Christian and Eastern philosophy that I joined their church.
Audrey the minister there officiated at my marriage to Roger in 1993.
The one thing that I most admired about Unity was its ability to love unconditionally. I also
loved the peace that permiated throughout each service. Since I am a traditionalist I missed participating in communion
while attending Unity. Once I overheard the Reverend call Jesus a prophet. That really bothered me, as to me Jesus
is the prophetic Son of God, not simply a prophet.
Well, we moved to Pennsylvania far away from Lebanon and I started attending the services
at St. John's Lutheran Church in Nazareth, PA. Their Christmas Eve candle lit service is the most beautiful service I had
ever witnessed. There is an orchestra complete with a harp that plays while everyone sings Christmas Carols. It was so moving,
and the church was so elegantly decorated too, which so adds to the overwhelming feeling of joy that one feels because of
the birth of the Christ Child.
When we moved here to the Hamburg area I sought out a Lutheran Church. Roger and I
attended several Bible Study Groups and we eventually joined. I must admit that I have never found any one religious sect
that I truly believe to be the "Perfect" one and I suppose it is because all of them were administered by the human touch,
and the human touch is fallible! That is where prayer and discernment come into play.
My favorite Bible verse was read at our wedding ceremony:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a