By The Rev. Jean Niven Lenk
Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Stoughton, United Church of Christ.
The gavel has come down officially closing GS28. Over the next 24 hours, thousands of delegates and visitors will be packing their bags, saying their good-byes, and heading to their respective homes -- which are as close as Florida and as far away as Africa.
Personally, I am ready to head back to Massachusetts – GS is exhausting, from the 7 am breakfast meetings to the nights of hearings, resolutions, amendments, and votes, and I am ready to get back to my normal schedule, early bedtimes, and home cooking.
But thinking of heading home reminds me of the stories I have heard these past few days from newcomers to the United Church of Christ, and their different narratives have the common theme of finding home. Repeatedly, I heard people talk of coming from different faith traditions -- in which they felt judged, marginalized, and rejected – and finding their way to a UCC church, where they have been extravagantly welcomed. Home.
May we all return safely to our respective homes. And may our churches be places where all may find a home.
The Rev. Jean Niven Lenk is the Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Stoughton, United Church of Christ.