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Sometimes taking care of a family — managing chaos, maintaining routine, getting the kids to school and volleyball practice and baseball and youth group, shopping for school supplies and getting stains out of shirts — seems ordinary. But when done with patience and love, intention and wisdom, daily tasks are transformed into sacred rites. Natalie Bogue first came to the Round Rock church when her older daughter attended the preschool program. She decided then that she wanted Jesus to be at the center of her family. Ever since, she’s committed to motherhood as a holy vocation.
Features
Photos by Chris Reynolds

Church puts a spotlight on ‘Everyday Saints’


ROUND ROCK, Texas— When we think of saints, we think of people like the apostles: St. Peter or St. John. We think of St. Francis of Assisi and his vow of poverty or St. Teresa of Calcutta and her devotion to the sick and poor in India. We think of people who are extra holy, more holy than we are or ever will be. 

Becoming a mother is a beautiful and exhausting thing. You hand over not just your time and attention, but also your very body. Like many first-time moms, Jasmine Bolay has been up all night. She’s stressed over her choices. She’s cried and laughed and cried again. And in all of it, she’s found motherhood to be a sacred gift. Bolay is an “Everyday Saint” of the Round Rock Church of Christ in Texas.

Becoming a mother is a beautiful and exhausting thing. You hand over not just your time and attention, but also your very body. Like many first-time moms, Jasmine Bolay has been up all night. She’s stressed over her choices. She’s cried and laughed and cried again. And in all of it, she’s found motherhood to be a sacred gift. Bolay is an “Everyday Saint” of the Round Rock Church of Christ in Texas.

But that’s not the way the Bible talks about saints.

In Scripture, all followers of Christ are called saints, literally “the set apart” or “the holy ones.” To choose Christ is to choose to be a saint. Clothed in his righteousness, washed in his blood, we are made and are being made holy. 

 At the Round Rock Church of Christ, where my husband, Justin, preaches, we recently began a sermon series called “Everyday Saints.” As part of the series, Chris Reynolds shot portraits of members in the style of saint icons. The portraits have been up in our building, and we’ve pushed them out online with accompanying captions describing the way each person is being made holy by God. The response has been incredible.

First, we intentionally picked people who wouldn’t necessarily describe themselves as saints. Once we persuaded them to participate, the shoots themselves were so moving. 

People cried. We prayed over each person and thanked God for what he was doing in their lives. Then, seeing the images — it was such a powerful moment. I’ve received messages from several of the participants telling me how they see themselves differently now, thanks to this experience.

Our church has been receptive to the images in a way I couldn’t have anticipated. They’re sharing them on social media, spending 20 minutes after church reading the captions and meditating. It’s been beautiful. 

JENNIFER GERHARDT is the storytelling minister for the Round Rock Church of Christ. Her most recent book is “Swallowed Up: A Story About How My Brother Died. And I Didn’t.”

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