PHPC, WRR and Me

December 28, 2021

Nancy Matlock found PHPC through our Radio Ministry. Our services are broadcast on WRR 101.1, and this ministry, funded in part by the PHPC Foundation, is an important way that our message reaches outside our walls.

I began listening to PHPC on WRR in 1997. At the time I was undergoing a major upheaval in my life. Divorce, daughter off to college, a succession of family illnesses and deaths, returning to work at 50, among other trials that devastated my soul and spirit. I found I needed to renew my relationship with God and seek His guidance, love, strength, and grace.

I grew up in a downtown Presbyterian church on the edge of the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville, Tennessee and moved to Dallas in 1970. Church attendance and participation was important to me and Sundays were special family days. There were aunts, uncles, cousins, as well as outstanding ministers and church leaders. Much of who I am was developed at Second Presbyterian Church, and my memories are many and cherished. I was there every time I could be - Sunday school, Bible schools, church camps, choirs, handbells,  and so much more. The church was my family with deep roots and lifetime relationships.

As I was trying to reorder my life I realized I was missing this connection in my life. I wanted and needed sermons! I walked a lot and loved WRR 101.1 and found quite a nice assortment on WRR on Sunday mornings. I soaked up broadcasts from the Christian Scientists in Boston, Lover’s Lane and University Park Methodist, Wilshire Baptist, the Catholic pastoral reflections, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, and Rev. Dr. Blair Monie at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. They all “spoke” to me and were greatly appreciated, but the one that stood out was Rev. Monie. I loved his ease, compassion, stories, message, and especially his little chuckle. I was pleased to greet Rev. Monie when he visited parishioners at Zale Lipshy Hospital where I worked in Guest Services.

After I retired in 2011, I spent most of my time in Knoxville as my beloved mother, whom I had moved from house, to apartment, to senior living, assisted living, and finally was in nursing care. I was also there to spend final years with dear aunts, uncles, and cousins well as close friends.  I attended my beautiful Second Presbyterian Church now high on a hill overlooking a bend in the Tennessee River framed by the Great Smoky Mountains. It fed my soul to be “home.” It was sad to see the slow fading of familiar faces and dear relationships. The loss of family and roots was becoming the theme of my life - a deep sense of disconnection.

After returning to Dallas, I retreated to a more secluded life to seek God’s renewal and grace. By this time, Rev. Matthew Ruffner, and Bradley Welch, and Steve Jobman had brought PHPC alive to me. I realized watching in my comfort zone was not enough. I missed fellowship and connection. I began attending on Sunday mornings and was able to join the church in March. I look forward  to enrichriching my soul with participation, worship, and service to others.

The return to streaming over these last months has only strengthened my choice of PHPC as my church home. The staff are enlightening, inclusive, compassionate, and encouraging. I love the music variety, the amazing musicians, and especially watching Bradley Welch’s mastery of the organ.

I look forward to when we can worship together. In the meantime, I am so very thankful for the technology and the opportunity to worship via the airwaves. God is everywhere!

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