Today, I am sitting in a sanctuary that is just as full as the one we sat in last week; last week around 2,000, today around 60 have gathered to worship. While visiting my family in Indiana I attended church with Cindy and Steve at their home church, the Economy United Methodist Church.
I don’t know, maybe it was something about ‘being home’. Richard used to wince when I referred to Indiana as ‘home’, as we both know that ‘home’ is where we are together. However, I think he now understands that part of me may never totally lose that fetter to that place where I return to family and the familiar. Or maybe it was the meditation music of Happy the Home When God is There that played as we entered (which I continued to hum the rest of the day). Or maybe it was the memory of growing up in Methodist churches, our Grandma’s was small like this one. Or maybe it was being with my sister that made this all feel like ‘home’ and oh-so-right.
Here are a few things that I love about this church:
- When you greet those at church, you greet everyone by walking around until every hand has been shook or a hug shared.
- Each person there has to be involved some how in the life and well-being of the church.
- When the children came forward for their Moment, over 10% of the congregation was present. A healthy church is one with many ages represented.
- Almost everyone has a Joy and/or Concern, from praying for healing from cancer to praising the joy of a new puppy; from the loneliness of depression to the relief of much-needed rain for drought stricken crops.
- Old-fashioned Hymns. I love the Hymns with which I grew up. They are the roots which ground me. We sang Precious, Lord Take My Hand. (If you’ve never heard Tommy Dorsey (yes, the Tommy Dorsey) tell his story of how this Hymn came about, you should. Listen to him tell the story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlmCflPD2s8)
A few other thoughts I had:
- At the front of the sanctuary is the cross which is lit from behind. I contemplate significance in this ‘lighting the way’. The word and meaning that came to mind today: salvation (which sounds so ‘churchy’ and not like me, which makes me think more and I realize that this is more about being rescued from oneself; no need to be lost, just follow the Light).
- During the Lord’s Prayer the word that came to mind was: unity. Believers all over the word gather in worship, we have many differences however this Prayer is one thing that we have in common.
- When staying with Cindy, I stay in my niece, Ali’s room. She has a sign that says “Home is where your Mom is”. Our Mom is gone, and in all honesty, it does feel less like home.
- I’ve come to realize that I am most ‘at home’ where the Father is.
P.S. – Richard had the joy of spending time with Cushla and Zaynib.