My Faith Story: I didn’t attend church growing up, and it wasn’t until my mid to late-40s that I really began to know God and Jesus. A short time after I started attending Oakdale in 2006, the husband of an Oakdale staff member invited me to participate in a men’s group. As a new believer, I wasn’t sure what to expect but encountered a group of reassuringly ordinary men—both faithful and imperfect— seeking God in the midst of human struggles with relationships, money, faith, and the like. Their examples, which included stories of faith, setbacks, and success showed me that developing a relationship with God requires, among other things, close and ongoing relationships with other Christians. Like the story of the prodigal son, God (and the Christian men in my small groups) accepted me after being away and despite my faults. And, while I am far from a reflection of Christ, my life has been transformed that the people closest to me have seen an overwhelmingly positive change.