Today was homecoming at RUMC. It was my first...ever. Apparently, homecoming is a small, rural church phenomenon. The purpose of homecoming is to invite all the people who used to live in the community back to their home church for a time of celebration and reconnection. It is standard to have a former pastor preach the service.
For many churches this is a really big deal. So there seems to be this kind of pressure to make sure everything goes really well. Since I am new to the church this year, they asked me to preach the service which was a real honor. (However, last night I was afraid I wasn't going to have anything say, see here, things ended up working out very nicely.)
Thanks be to God, worship went very smoothly. Its hard to describe, but a certain excitement or energy filled the entire sanctuary. It was pretty amazing. One person described it saying, "You could feel the love in the room."
Since we had folks from all over coming back to Rectortown, I met a lot of really nice folks who's history with the church goes back longer than I have been alive! All of them very kind and very encouraging!
In the end, I am happy to report I survived my first homecoming.