“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3 NRSV
Home. So many memories and feeling spring to mind at that word. I suppose that it is a natural progression for us to transfer the best of these memories and feelings when we speak of heaven, our eternal home. I understand that not every memory or feeling about home and our families of origin are happy – I understand that the Walton’s was just a television show, and that Hallmark movies are not our realities. Still, this time of year as the calendar turns to Thanksgiving and Christmas, my heart and mind return to a small town and my family of origin at 9146 Main Street in Westernville, New York. Home.
My mind also returns to my church families. Church has always been a central part of my family’s life. I remember that little community of saints and sinners in Westernville, and the people of the congregations that my family and I have been blessed to serve over the years, from Salt Springville to Bluff Point, from Boonville and the Adirondack District to our current home in Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church. I am thankful for this Home.
I want to extend my sincerest invitation to all who will read this letter during these festive days and weeks to prayerfully consider coming home for the holy days. Again, I know that this is not a perfect place, but it a home full of love and grace. You are welcome here, and you will find a family of faith that will welcome you home with as much unconditional love as we can offer. Please plan to come home for the holidays – it won’t be the same without you!
Come and join us for worship at 9:00 or 10:30 A.M., plan to be a part of our Sunday School program as we kick off our Sunday morning Christian Education time with some fun in the sanctuary at 10:30 A.M. There are several Bible Studies and fellowship opportunities each week. Come home and join us – we’ll save you a seat! In Grace and Peace, Bill Mudge