A long time ago, on a continent far, far away… by Kate Stranks

Our family decided that Covid (and the way that Canada had been dealing with it) had stolen enough of our lives and that it was time to keep on living.  We packed up all our belongings, stored them in a rather large shipping container, and headed out into the world to find where life was normal.

Our trip took us to Italy – where we found an abundance of delicious food, a joy for life in the locals, and a slower pace that was quite refreshing.  We then travelled to Mexico – where the days were long and full of sun, but rather empty of people and connection.  Next was onto the United States – we found my sister who had recently moved and found joy in celebrating the Christmas season with her family.

Then we headed back to Mexico (albeit a different location) and found friends in the area, as well as a church to attend, but still a lack of purpose and community.  Finally, it was time to head to the United Kingdom where we spent a week in London – we found all the “sights” and unfortunately all the smells as well;  we found educational experiences and visits with friends.  We then drove to Scotland…and eventually wound up in Perth.  Since our visit to Perth, we have been down to Glasgow, Edinburgh, the western Isles, and near Elgin.  Let me tell you, Perth is just special.

When we settled into our rental in Bankfoot, I decided that it would be worthwhile to search out a church to attend whilst in the area – we were, after all, going to be staying for a while.  After a quick Google search, I had three options that seemed like a good fit, and we decided to try Tayside Christian Fellowship the first week.

"We travelled the world, to find where we fit is at Tayside."

Come Sunday morning it didn’t take us long to realise that our visit to TCF would NOT be inconspicuous.  And the best part about it?  We didn’t mind a bit.  Every single one of our interactions was initiated by genuine welcome, honest interest, and simply…a feeling of friendship and family (everything you think should happen with other believers, and yet genuinely difficult to actually find).

Our girls by this point were used to moving around a fair bit and jumping in with both feet has now become something normal for them.  But I couldn’t help but notice how easily they moved into the circles at TCF, and how the volunteers welcomed them in as their own.  

Our girls even got to participate in their year-end program, on stage and were so graciously gifted some very cute books (which they have since memorised!).  In the words of our eldest: “I loved TCF because…well, because the people were just SO NICE!” 

It is an amazing thing to have visitors come to your church, be completely unaware of what they will find, and have them leave feeling as if they were truly part of your family.  Tayside Christian Fellowship (TCF) is truly a one-of-a-kind body of believers.  Their love for people is real, and if you are fortunate enough to visit, you will leave feeling SO blessed and filled up!  If you are fortunate enough to attend regularly and stay….well, I will be jealous.

We travelled the world, to find where we fit is at Perth and TCF. 

Girls names: Elsie, Andie and Rilynn

Published 26th August 2022

Header photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash