[The Calderons have been a part of Epic Church’s family since our days of meeting in the Banana Factory, but are now moving to Florida to start a new chapter in their lives. Below is a collection of their thoughts and memories of Epic Church.]

Calderons Friday 071015Albertina: “We came from New York to the Lehigh Valley area, and we were looking for a church. Nancy [Schlegel] is our neighbor, and when I asked her about churches in the area, she let me know about two churches. One, she told me was new and was where her son was a pastor. Soon, we came to the Banana Factory. It was different because it didn’t look like a church building – it was an art gallery. Ever since our first day at Epic, we haven’t visited another church.

“I believe in the mission [of Epic]. I liked that there were a lot of young people, and I believed they were transforming the community around them. I saw new faces every day and I saw the church growing, which was awesome.

Wilfredo: “I just remember we used to gather in a small room and spread out the tables so it would look like we had more people. And one day, it was overcrowded. We decided to move to another room and it also became crowded.

“I love the art. I believe that everybody in Epic has an inner artist and that God is using their gifts to speak to others.”

Albertina: “…The first time we came to Epic, we were so comfortable. Nobody was judgmental or looking at the way you dressed. Every Sunday the messages related to something that happened to us during the week. Every time we had a problem during the week, it was addressed during the messages on Sundays.

“We also connected to the message [on July 5th]. Pastor Rob was speaking about standing up and living the story of Jesus and showing it to others. It doesn’t matter if you’re unpopular, poor, scared etc. I’m very afraid of starting a new chapter in moving to Florida. I think that the message for us is that wherever we go, we have to show to other people that we believe in God.”

Alicia: “I remember the first day that I came, I was in a class at the Banana Factory. I remember always having fun and learning something new each week.”

Albertina: “Before coming to Epic, I didn’t know what it meant to follow God and put Him first in my life. I had learned that He is the one who is in charge of my life. I learn to trust Him, follow Him, and believe in Him. I know that everything I go through happens for a reason and that He is there for me.

“I’ve also used to struggle understanding how God could love me so much though I sin, but at Epic I learned that He loves me anyway. One day, I just surrendered all my sin to Him and forgot about my past. It was so amazing to give everything to Him and just start a new me. “

Wilfredo: “Our faith grew so much here, and we grew as a family together, trusting in God and praying together.”

Albertina: “Epic is always going to be part of my life. No matter where I go, I’ll always be in touch with Epic, because Epic is what put me in the path of living the life with God. Epic Church is my spiritual family.”

Wilfredo: “I like to give service to anybody who needs help. I’m really going to miss serving at Epic. I grew here feeling like this is my family in Christ.”

Albertina: “We’ve seen so many faces here – people coming and going. Every time that I pray, I pray for faces. I don’t know everyone’s names, but I can imagine the faces of the people in the church – people who have been with us in the beginning and people who have come and gone. I pray for them because at one point, they were a part of our church.”