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More Than a Place

I was lucky enough to grow up in a church my whole life. The church I was raised in promised to take care of me when I was baptized at 6 months, and they have always been my safe haven whenever my life was going down hill. Northminster Presbyterian Church has never been considered large. To many in Ames, it’s just known as the church right next to the high school, so when I first saw Naz and Orchard, I was blown away about how many people went to one church. The most I have ever seen on a Sunday morning was probably around 100 on special events like Christmas and Easter. However, whenever those certain events did happen, I always made sure to look my best because I believed I had to impress everyone (hence the picture of 4-year old Natalie in one of the pictures below!)

I understand that many did not have the same experience I had growing up in the church. The first person that comes to mind is my mom. Both my grandparents are religious. My grandma actually grew up Catholic, but she didn’t want her kids to grow up the same way, which led to her never really wanting to find a new church. I once asked my mom how she felt about this. She just informed me that she always knew God was in her life, and she knew that Jesus died for her. She just never had a way to go to a physical church. Thankfully, my dad and her were able to find Northminster. 

Hearing this story from my mom, I learned that the physical church does not need to be a necessity in a Christian’s life. I believe most of us who grew up Christian know the famous Bible verse of “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). This verse was constantly taught in my church, and the same goes for a prayer group I am apart of. To this day, I can still hear my pastor’s exact words of “the church is not a place, it's a people.'' 

So what is the church to me? It’s more than the building itself that makes me feel welcome (trust me, that place gets really spooky at night!). The church is the lessons I’ve learned from so many elders and of the members. The church is the people of Northminister and BASIC. To this day, I am still lucky to have a church always around me. When I first came to UNI, I was unsure I would be able to find a new church family, but God thankfully led me in the right direction. BASIC is unlike any other college ministry that I have ever seen because they really do honor the fact of building relationships and serving God. I chose this ministry because they were welcoming, kind, and the perfect second place to my home church. So what is church to me? It’s home. 

Natalie Lawrence
UNI Freshman
Cashew survivor, Spanish learner, Book enthusiast

  Natalie L 1  Natalie L 2


What's Happening?:

  • FOUNDATIONS // 8:00pm Lang Hall // Come join us this Thursday as Alice Shirey continues our FOUNDATION series. We will be exploring the questions about the foundational parts of the Christian faith this week with the question: "What is Church?" Bring a friend! #AllAreWelcome 
  • Stories from the Seats // Sharing stories is an important part of the BLESS model we practice here at BASIC. This Thursday, come listen as Chelsea Eilers shares her Story from the Seats during BASIC! #BLESS #Story
  • IF Gathering // What if women of all ages gathered together to share their stories and talk about Jesus? Come join us March 7th from 9am - 4pm at Nazareth Lutheran Church for a weekend of listening to speakers, eating, sharing, and being honest. For more information, click the graphic below, or check out the IF Gathering’s facebook page for the Cedar Valley!
  • College - Aged Lunch // Join us Sunday, March 8th after the 10:45 service at Nazareth Lutheran Church for our French Dip and more!!  Bring a friend and your appetite! #BLESS #Eat
  • Sanctuary // In the midst of homework, studying for midterms, and juggling our everyday life, it's so easy to forget to make time to rest. On March 12th from 8:00 - 9:15pm at Orchard Hill Church,  BASIC will be providing a place of peace with reflection, prayer, and musical worship as you rest in Jesus and leave your worries behind. #Sanctuary
  • BASIC Teams // Looking for ways to BLESS your community? Join one of our BASIC teams! Click the graphic below to sign up & learn more! #BASICEvents #BLESS
  • Podcast // Miss a BASIC teaching or want to hear it again? You can now find all of our teachings on all of your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsSpotify, Google, and more! Click the graphic below to learn more! #Listen #BLESS
  • Life Groups // Looking to get more involved with a faith community? Joining a Life Group is a wonderful way to meet new people and share God’s love! You sign up for a Life Group in Cedar Falls or Waverly (both on and off campus)! Sign ups start Thursday! #LifeGroupLove #Community
  • Sunday Morning Worship // Join us on Sundays for church at Orchard Hill, Nazareth Lutheran Church, or Orchard Hill’s campus in Waverly! See the graphic below for service times and worship locations! #SundayWorship

Click any of the graphics below for more information!:


Chelsea Slide

IF 2020

French Dip

 SanctuarySpring2020 Slide


The BASIC Podcast Slide

LifeGroup2019 2020

Church Services.ohc.naz.waverly


Get in touch

Location & Time

We meet on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in Lang Hall at 8pm when school is in session. Click here for location & directions.


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