December 6

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world…I remember you always in my prayers…For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Romans 1:8-12 (NRSV)

What do you think of when you think of the word, “home”? I think of my parent’s house. But I also think about the house I grew up in, the place around the campfire at Templed Hills camp, my family, and Chicken Divan. Most recently, I am now starting to think of my own house in Columbus as my home as well. 


I remember calling up Peter Wiley when it came time for me to join the church I was serving in Des Moines. I teared up as I said,“…but I’ve always been a member of First Congregational Church.” Peter heard my quivering voice and replied, “You won’t be a member anymore, but this will always be your home—your home church.” 


The people of First Congregational Church have been quite good at creating and maintaining a home for those who have left. Which doesn’t mean that it stays the same. FCC has painted walls, created new traditions, explored big topics, sung new songs, and further reached out into the community since I left. It has been the changes—the transformations of life, love, and service within and outside the walls of the church—that have made it even more welcoming as a church home.


This scripture verse always makes me think of you, because it is the prayer that I have for us all. I pray that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith and spiritual gifts. Because it is in the sharing of those gifts and faith that a home is created. I pray that we will continue to listen for the voice of the Spirit this season as we ask an important question of ourselves:


What do I have to share that could create a home for someone longing for love?



Rev. Mary Kate Buchanan

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