Ten years ago I went to Bangladesh with 12 other teenagers. Today, I made brunch for three of them, the women I lovingly refer to as my fellow Church Basement Ladies. We all grew up actively involved at Normandale throughout adolescents and young adulthood. Though I didn't attend high school with them, some of my favorite memories stem from our time together on the other side of the world or leading senior high groups since then.
Annie was the first one to find me when I got sick in Dinajpur. I went to college with Sarah and later, we attended seminary together for a year. Sarah and Katherine and I worked at Bible camp together, forming new summertime bonds. Katherine was by my side in 2004 when we returned to Bangladesh, fell in love again, and wiped tears as we said goodbye to a place that holds our hearts. I sang in the choir at Annie's dad's funeral and still think of him during Lent and when I hear the hymn Day by Day.
A small part of me is grateful for the recession and the push it gives women my age to invite people over for affordable, homemade time together instead of meeting out for drink$ or dinner. It was good to have these spiritual sisters in my home, sharing and laughing over good food. We talked work, love, gossip and (of course) Church. In this new age of America and faith, thank God for great traditions plugging on in new form and new bodies. The Church Basement Ladies live on!