My name is Anila Bhatti and I’m from Pakistan: We are five family members, my husband and 3 sons. We arrived in the United States on December 10, 2015. Before landing at Oakland airport, we didn’t know that we were being sponsored by Piedmont Community Church. As we went towards the exit door, we all got surprised by the big warm welcome by PCC family. I felt so blessed at that moment and I thank God because He appointed His angels for us as church members.
It’s a very good experience for our family to join because we found a new family away from home and we feel we are not alone here. With the help of the church, we started our new life easily and before we even arrived here our house was fully furnished by the Refugee Task Force. Piedmont Church helped us with transportation, social services and employment. I was a teacher in Pakistan and I’m working as a teacher in Piedmont recreation department. We also help the other refugee families because we know how hard it is to survive as a refugee. After God, it’s because of Piedmont Community Church that we are living a happy life today.
My journey at PCC began 23 years ago as a baby in the nursery of the CE building. It continued on to see me be baptized out at the fountain when I was four, helped build the Ark of the Covenant in Sunday School, play the innkeeper in the Christmas pageant, go through confirmation and declare my faith, serve alongside my classmates building houses in Mexico during years filled with fun and fellowship in Rock, and over a year ago, this church embraced me when I came back after graduating from college. Most importantly, PCC held onto me during times of apathy regarding my beliefs and ultimately helped me to plant the seeds of my faith and better understand and embrace the love of Jesus in my life.
When I came back from college, I was welcomed once again into the community that had shown me so much love growing up. I was also asked to serve on the Altar Guild and to volunteer with the youth ministries at the church, both of which I was eager to do so that I could engage with the life of the church.
I serve our church because of everyone who sits in our pews on Sunday mornings and because of many who don’t sit there with us anymore. I serve our church because I want to see the young people in our youth programs value their faith and want to pursue it. I pray my service here will matter to even one person at this church.
PCC is on my heart always, expressing itself with joy when I speak of my faith, these people, and this place. I am invested in this church and its mission. I support PCC so that we as a church may further God’s kingdom here in the Bay Area and everywhere else our congregation serves and continue the work that Jesus began
Jennifer Nixon & Charlie Wood
My name is Jennifer Nixon.
Why have I’ve been at PCC for 14 years, and support it with my time, talent—and treasure? It’s three things: community, suffering, and joy. Over time, I’ve come to realize the importance of what this church, and this religion, bring to me in the form of a community–a tribe. PCC is here during the key transitions which mark our lives- they help us baptize and raise our children, marries us, and buries our dead, all the while offering important fellowship during the journey.
The second is suffering. The church gives me a vocabulary, a narrative framework, and rituals for these complicated elements of life, and how to cope. So the suffering is softened, and supported, at PCC.
The third element is joy. PCC gives me a way to understand joy—not a fleeting feeling of “happiness,” but as something deep and enduring. PCC creates venues for joy through music, ministry, and friendships. I am so grateful for the ways PCC creates and celebrates community, helps me and my loved ones deal with the everyday realities of suffering, and helps us realize that our cup runneth over with joy.
My name is Charlie Wood.
I am a newcomer here at PCC, with just over three years of participation. During this time I have met many new people and made many new friends. However, you might be new to the PCC experience.
PCC is a lovely church, has an amazing staff, offers a variety of social events, and a broad-minded religious experience, with insightful and thought-provoking sermons, the best choir in the universe, all within a broader joyous community. This is truly a place where you can join in and create a foundation for you, and your family. Having this church, this community, will make your life better.
I encourage you to participate. There are many ways – attend service, become a greeter, usher, deacon, volunteer, or join a class. We welcome you to be a part of this community, anyway you wish.
The Osborn Family
On the advice of a neighbor, we came to PCC in 2012, and though the birth of our third child made attendance sporadic, we felt we had found a home. In a world dominated by divisive anger, PCC is a haven, and one that has become a regular part of our lives. For Mike and myself, we feel drawn each week to meaningful sermons that give us perspective and remind us not only of our purpose here in this space, at this time, but also of what good we can do in our community. We appreciate that here, being a Christian means being taking action to help others. With programs like the alternative gift market, the refugee task force, the Mexico trip and the day of service, there are so many ways to put our words into action. I bring my children here so they can hear the stories of Jesus, have a place to ask questions and begin their own journey of faith. We come as a family to this space because we feel part of a larger family, and have met so many wonderful people who we can now call friends. We are Piedmont Community Church. — Gwendolyn Osborn