June Smith loves to help others and is involved with a number of organizations. For example, she helps with several outreach activities for the military since she grew up in a military family and experienced firsthand the sacrifice that our country's soldiers have made. She is a member of Voices for Veterans, an organization to assist homeless veterans living far from family and society, and takes part in their annual "Stand Down." This event provides clothing, food, sleeping bags, boots, advice on benefits and the impromptu haircut for the 100 or so displaced vets who typically attend. And with each interaction, June gives a warm touch and a smile, seeing her father and brother in each of their faces. She also belongs to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

A lifetime member of the American Rifle Association, which supports educating others in gun safety, June is a crack shot who once put a bullet through a penny—without a scope.

After academy, June worked in the tailor shop at Whidbey Island's Naval Base. When a handsome young Marine entered the shop one day, it wasn't long before they were dating and then she and Chuck were married. Since her new husband had no interest in religion, she bid the church of her childhood goodbye.

By 1978, June and Chuck were divorced, their four kids grown, and she had moved to Sequim with her new husband, Robert,* an ordained Anglican-Catholic priest. He and June started St. Anselm's, a church they would nurture for the next 14 years.

In early 2006, June, now a widow, noticed ads in local store windows and the newspaper for It Is Written's Revelation Speaks Peace. She decided to attend.

On the first night of the seminar, she crossed a Seventh-day Adventist Church threshold for the first time in 57 years. She wondered if she'd find warm hearts or cold shoulders once the members knew how long she'd been absent. More importantly, would she find God's presence there?

In the foyer, warm smiles and enthusiastic handshakes calmed her fears. In the sanctuary, sweet, heavenly music touched a chord deep within her soul. In the presentation, Revelation's prophecies and promises were revealed in the light of God's love and mercy. Her mind awakened to an amazing realization—the church of her childhood had been reborn into a church of hope!

Fittingly, Justin Lyons, pastor, baptized June into the Sequim church family in June 2006. Her longtime friends from Auburn Academy who'd faithfully kept in touch over the decades were there to celebrate her rebirth.

Now when June crosses the church threshold on Sabbath mornings, she knows she belongs. When children are part of the worship service, whether reading, singing, or playing an instrument, she especially feels God's presence. But her greatest joy has been returning to a church that found its focus through a vital relationship with Christ the Savior. For her, the connection is now real.

* Not his real name.

June 01, 2007 / Feature