Melissa’s Story

Long time member Melissa Blundon was raised Roman Catholic and “married into” NMCC via husband Bob in 1984.  Shortly thereafter, a health crisis led to a spiritual awakening which continues to evolve today.  Melissa’s faith manifests through her work as a deacon and with the Caring Ministries program, which she spearheads.  Her warm smile brightens Sunday mornings for anyone who attends NMCC.

Melissa, did you grow up in a religious family?

Well, we faithfully attended church every Sunday, but I grew up resenting religion and the fact that I was forced to go to church.  I attended, but did not participate.  This is not to speak badly of the Catholic faith.  I am sure that other children of different faiths have similar experiences and feelings.  What I learned as I got older and what proved to be a very valuable lesson was that my faithful upbringing gave me roots in God and the Christian faith that I did not realize would be so strong.  It is these roots that ground me during difficult times.

Why did you join NMCC?

My husband Bob grew up here.  When we married, we decided NMCC would be the best fit for the family we one day hoped to have.  I loved the Congregational way.  It made so much more sense to me.  I loved the way people took part in church and didn’t just attend!  I loved the way the congregation supported one another.  I come from a large close-knit family and was not necessarily looking for another “family”.  However, I found a real connection with the people at NMCC – a shared vision of faith.  I wanted my children to grow up with this sort of church experience.  I feel very close to my church family.

What is your role as deacon?

The Board of Deacons sees our role as the spiritual leaders of our congregation.  We try to be “Beacon Deacons”.  In other words, we try to shine our light for others so that they may become closer to each other, to Christ and to God through their church experience and their involvement with NMCC.  Each deacon has different gifts and talents to offer, all equally important to the whole.  I find my gifts to be more nurturing than organizational.  This is what brought me to lead to lead our Caring Ministries program.

Tell us about Caring Ministries.

Caring Ministries began as a vision of Holly Francis.  She had seen similar models at work in other churches and felt NMCC offered the perfect environment in which to implement such a program. Our members are so loving and have always looked out for each other.  The program is set up so that everyone can participate; we didn’t want to limit caring for one another to people on a set committee.  Just this spring Caring Ministries was adopted into our bylaws.

Caring Ministries focuses on those who are ill or in other need.  It provides so many opportunities to help, including phone calling, visitation, the preparation and delivery of meals, knitting or crocheting prayer shawls and, of course, saying prayers.

I feel a special calling for Caring Ministries because when I first came to NMCC I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  The support I received from the congregation is something I will always remember and be grateful for.

Why is spirituality important in your life?

My spiritual journey began when I was forming those childhood roots I mentioned earlier.  I did not realize that it was even happening.  The journey began in earnest with my illness right after I came to NMCC.  You might say I experienced a true transformation at that point.  That was 29 years ago and I would not ask to go through that again.  However, in spite of some lasting side effects like facial paralysis, I am grateful for the experience because it made me stronger and brought me closer to God.  Every day when I look in the mirror I am reminded that I am here for a reason and I believe that reason is to share God’s love.  NMCC had provided a path along which for me to live and grow in my faith.

Name something you really love about NMCC?

The people!!  Being together in a place where others share a common vision.