Lee Hufford went to church once or twice in her life before she met her husband, John, who has always been Lutheran. "I felt like there was something missing as I was growing up, but I didn't know what," says Lee, who was baptized shortly before her wedding 14 years ago. "Looking back, I realize it was a relationship with God."
When Lee, a self-employed desktop publisher, and her husband, John, both 38, moved to Colorado 12 years ago, they took three years off from church. John was studying for his MBA, and the two spent time hiking, camping and pursuing other outdoor activities.
When they starting searching for a congregation, they especially wanted to connect with people their age. "A feeling of community is most important to me, to have fellowship with others who have similar values," says Lee, who with John — and now their three girls, Heather, 6; Heidi, 4; and Holly, 2 — worship at Lutheran Church of the Master, outside Denver. "The people at my church are my spiritual family."
Lee goes weekly because she needs "a frequent connection with God to remind me to stay on the right path."
In her survey Lee said her congregation fulfills her spiritual needs in many ways: through sermons, Bible study, a playgroup and a Wednesday family night. Listening to a contemporary Christian music radio station and reading the Bible at home adds nourishment.
Having peers at church is still important, but through the cross-generational ministries, "you're with people from different backgrounds, ages and experiences," she says. "That helps me grow in my faith."
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers