When asked the question as to why am I bringing my children to church, my first thought was that the question needs to be, "Why do I bring my children to Black Forest Community Church?"  BFCC is a very special place and is very different from where we came and from many other churches. After attending the LDS church for many years, I realized that I never felt like we fit in there.  My time there did make me really contemplate what I believe, however.  I believe that church should be for everyone and that is the way Jesus would want it to be.  I want my children to be loving, open, and accepting. I want my family to be part of a church that loving, open, and accepting to us in return.  BFCC provides much more for our youth than sermons and bible lessons, although those are good things.  BFCC is really an extended family where kids can learn from other members with varied abilities and experiences.  Each of my children have different needs and, therefore, benefit in different ways from attending church.  I see my oldest son increasing his empathy and selflessness as he gives his time to church projects.  My middle son, who has Bipolar Disorder, has a very difficult time with social situations. My hope is that he can see BFCC as a safe place where he can feel God's love through thoughtful, non-judgmental members. I am grateful that BFCC is a place that my son is welcome to attend service, even if he's having a very difficult day, and curl up in the corner on the floor with his service dog and no one will judge him for it. The love and kindness shown to him by others is crucial in helping him quell his anxiety and fears. The knowledge of a higher power and that there is more than our life here on earth keeps him pushing through the hard times he faces when battling mental illness.  My youngest child, who can be impulsive and impressionable, benefits from being around people who model good behavior and have admirable attributes. I am confident that the things my children learn at BFCC will help them be more empathetic, confident, honorable, and well-rounded individuals. - Andra Kimes