On Wednesday afternoon I was finishing up a research interview for my current book project with Bryan Koch, head pastor of Glad Tidings church in Wyomissing. Val and I have attended there for six years now and, after attempting to set up interviews at multiple area churches, Glad Tidings was the first, and only, one to reply.
Koch has guided the church for more than twenty-five years, from a single building and small numbers to a complex with multiple services and thousands of members. His passion is action, movement in the community to truly make a difference. As we wrapped up our conversation, he said,
“If there is anything we can do as your home church to support you, let me know.”
I drove home thinking if I had ever, in thirty-two years, had a church leader tell me something similar. The idea of having a home church settled in my head and on my spirit.
The concept of “home” is a weighted term. There are plenty of people with negative experiences settled around the idea, people who left as soon as they could and never looked back.
Home, for some, symbolized conflict, poverty, abuse, anxiety, instability, and the knowledge that it would only last until the next eviction notice.
Home should stand for peace, unity, a place where worry and strife can be left outside the door and families can reconnect. Home means you are welcome inside.
So thank you Pastor Bryan for that statement, that sentiment that we’ve finally found a church where we can plant roots and grow together, where our boys will make friends and build relationships, where we feel like we belong.
I pray, this afternoon, that anyone reading this who feels like they are drifting will find their own home and place of peace. The best journeys need a starting point and home is where it happens.