Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Homecoming Sunday!

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and we're ready for Homecoming 2009 at All Saints Church this morning! Here's what one of my staff colleagues, Sam Prince, had to say about Homecoming in this week's parish newsletter:


Coming Home, Again. . .
from Sam Prince, All Saints Church Youth Creative Director

This being my first year at All Saints, Homecoming in the church setting is a rather new experience for me; and yet it is not. As I think back to my Midwestern rearing, there was never an outright “Homecoming Celebration” amongst the evangelical communities in which I was raised. However, the more I reflect upon what it means to “home-come”—both in general and particularly at All Saints—I realize that I have been in touch with the notion of homecoming all along; and much of it is contained in the language of my evangelical roots.

Homecoming is, as with most celebrations, one day to remind us of something that can happen every day of the year. For me this year, it has been manifested as a “born again” experience (to put it in the terms of my evangelical siblings). In his book The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg describes being born again as “the process of personal transformation at the center of the Christian life… It means dying to an old way of being and being born into a new way of being ... centered in the sacred, in Spirit, in Christ, in God.” And though it is simply another synonymous phrase I would add, “in Love.”

That is exactly what happens when I come home to All Saints. Every moment I am in this community I come home to Love, to the Houseof Love. I am personally transformed, born again in Love. All Saints reminds me that I am beloved and empowers me to live into that identity. A friend of mine recently commented that she knows a place is home by the pictures that have been hung—pictures of things that resonate love. And that is why I consider All Saints my home.

It is a place where love is embodied, where pictures of love hang as its alluring décor. Pictures like the warm and active presence of the lawn on a Sunday morning, the smiling faces around campus by whom I’m greeted on a daily basis, and the open and eager hearts I see in the youth each and every week. Coming home to All Saints is coming home to a place where I see pictures of and feel the presence of the non-exclusive grace, peace, and love of the One in whom we live and move and have our being.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu often quotes Saint Augustine proclaiming, “God, without us, will not; as we, without God, cannot.” So let us continue to put up pictures of love, to be pictures of love, that the unconditional and inviting love of God may continuously emanate from this place we call home…a place where we are born — again and again … where all are saints, and the human race is recognized as the human family.
So whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on your journey of faith, you're welcome home at All Saints Church -- whether you stop by the party on Euclid Avenue this morning or the website any day of the week. Welcome Home!

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