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Rachel Smith, chose ACC because of Rooted

Rachel’s Daughter, getting baptized after her Rooted Experience

Rachel Smith’s Rooted Story about Facilitating

My name is Rachel Smith.  I am the mother of three teenagers and many furry four-legged felines.  My passion is fitness, health, and overall wellness.  I have lived in Southern California for the past 2 decades and recently relocated to Tempe.

For the past couple of years, I have been attending Mariners Church in Mission Viejo, California.  At the time a new session of Rooted was announced, I had only been attending Mariners for a few weeks.  I didn’t really know what to expect when I signed up, but I knew that I was looking for a next step in getting connected with what God was doing within the church.  What I found was a room full of seemingly different people who were interconnected in unique ways.  As we shared our stories, we found deepening friendships and growing faith.  We went through our 10 weeks together and formed a into life group that still actively connects us.

Several months later, I felt called to step into facilitating my first Rooted group.  I was certain that I was unqualified, but walked in faith that God brought me here and was urging me to take my next step.  The growth that I experienced while facilitating my first group was exponential.  My dependence on the Holy Spirit to guide me through meetings and situations that arose brought a calm confidence to my walk with Christ that I hadn’t known before.  With each group that I have led, I find that God shows my more of what is possible and uses me to bring His light to others.  

When I began to research Tempe as the location for my new home, I knew that finding a church that believed in and integrated Rooted was key for me.  Rooted has given me the opportunity to get to really know individuals on a deeper level.  I felt seen and heard in ways that I hadn’t experienced before. Through Rooted, I have learned to value the high and low points in my life all as part of the beautiful story that makes me who I am.  My desire is to continually strengthen my connections, deepen my faith, and live my life as a light for others.

Samantha Hart photo
Samantha Hart was part of our first ROOTED pilot group in Spring 2016.  She is engaged to be married on November 21, 2016 and will soon be Mrs. Hudson.
 

Sam’s ROOTED Story

This group was something I joined on a whim because I was on ACC’s website and came across the description of what the study was about and said “Yep! I want to join that”. And so I did.  I convinced my mom to sign up with me and off we went. Right off the bat, I knew that this study would be different than others I have attended.  There wasn’t a “teacher” per say, no surprise quizzes on what you read the previous week, and no awkwardness between everyone in the room. You could come to the group with open hearts and open minds and at the end of the time walk away with new knowledge and hope to live in today’s world and still seek a Christ-centered life.

This experience helped me establish an even stronger foundation for my faith and gave me valuable tools to keep moving forward. ROOTED has helped me in my daily prayers, opening my eyes and ears to see what God has in store for me, and learning who my identity is through Christ.  In this group I created a network of followers that have the faith in me to know that I can do all things through Christ and the love we have for one another is astounding. Ten weeks was not enough. Needless to say, it was the best last minute decision I have ever made.

The prayer experience was amazing. Cutting out all noises and distractions and only having the soft background music playing, it was like walking into a sanctuary. Having the different prompts at different stations was very helpful for someone who wasn’t all that versed in the ways of prayer. I had a decision hanging over my head that day that would change my fiancé and I’s life drastically and we would end up being away from family if we chose to accept it. I walked in hoping that I would get some clarity on the issue but not holding my breath and becoming too hopeful. As I was walking around the stations I came to one that had the many names of God on it. And guess what? One of them was” All Knowing”. For some reason that name stuck with me and I kept coming back to it. I finally closed my eyes and said “God, if you can hear me, please tell me what we are supposed to do.” And in the next moment I heard a whisper, “Go”.  I knew right then that I had just heard from God and I felt a peace for once about the whole situation.