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Dear Central Family,
The Christian faith has always been a part of my life in one way or another. I was born into a Christian family, went to church every Sunday, and participated in Christian organizations in college. I first began attending Central in 2010. But even though I have always claimed to be a Christian, I did not have a full understanding of the good news of the gospel until very recently.
Over the past 14 years in New York, I have not always lived my life as a Christian. I viewed Christianity as a set of unattainable rules and a behavioral point system. My main goal in life was to be happy all the time. I didn’t think Christianity was making me happy, so I denounced my faith to a group of friends a few months ago. I began living a crazy lifestyle and tried to ignore the guilt and shame I felt, but the denial only made it worse.
Days after denouncing my faith, I had a conversation with a close friend whom I had met at Central years ago. He told me, “Doori, take whatever ‘Thanos’ version of God you have made up in your head, and throw it in the pit.” My whole world shattered. Something changed in my heart, and for the first time, I realized how deep God’s love is for me. Christianity isn’t about a set of rules. It is about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
I now see everything with a fresh perspective. God’s love and care for me at each step of my life. The seeds of relationships he planted along the way. The friends I’ve made at Central who have never given up on me. When I was ready to turn back to Jesus, my Central family was there. No one ever blamed me, pushed me, judged me, or condemned me. Instead they patiently loved me and pointed me back to Christ. I have received so much love and support from not only people in church leadership positions, but also church members. It wasn't until the last few months that I could appreciate the depth of faith and wisdom that have always surrounded me at Central. I now see the beauty of the people, and the comfort of being accepted rather than judged.
Recently I played a violin solo for the largest crowd I’ve ever performed in front of. In the past, I would have been extremely nervous because I would have been playing to receive all the praise and adulation for myself. But instead, I was completely calm because I knew the One who had gifted me—and the One for whom I was ultimately performing. As a professional musician, it is always tempting to want to please the crowd or your colleagues. But now I’m in such a healthier place knowing that it isn’t all about me, and that there is only one person I’m interested in pleasing.
As several friends have reminded me—once God has you, he's never going to let go. And I know that my Central family will never let me go, either.
From the heart,
Doori Na, a San Francisco native, began playing the violin at the age of four and received his early training under Li Lin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 2018, he had a notable debut with the San Francisco Symphony, performing Bach's Double Violin Concerto alongside Itzhak Perlman and Michael Tilson Thomas. He now resides in New York City and collaborates with various musical ensembles.
Doori first began attending Central in 2010 when he played in Central’s Christmas-season performance of Handel’s Messiah. He has served on Central’s worship team since 2016.