by: usa games correspondent, Mike Gastineau
When she moved to Florida, joining a church was the last thing on Susan Carleton’s mind.
She had two kids with autism. They had been born in Ireland where religion obviously is a big and daily life influence. The family eventually moved back to the USA to West Virginia, but Carleton didn’t find enough programs there to help her and her kids. So she relocated again to Auburndale, Florida and moved in with her friend Liz.
Liz tried to convince them to join her church but Carleton demurred. After living in Ireland and then making two moves, she didn’t think church should be a big priority right away. She turned down her friend’s invitation with an oft-used excuse.
“If God wants me to join a church,” Carleton said, “he’ll send me a sign.”
Three days later the two friends were having a yard sale to get rid of some extra things they didn’t need. A man browsing the sale found out that Carleton had just arrived in Auburndale.
“He was standing in front of me with his hands in his pockets,” she recalled while laughing. “He asked if I had a church yet and recommended I try his because they had a great, new pastor.”
Her bluff pretty solidly called (“I asked for a sign, so I’d better go!”), Susan felt she had no choice but to check out the First Presbyterian Church of Auburndale.