Tag Archives: homecoming

Homecoming, Part 2

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Last week, my home church celebrated Homecoming. This week, the church in which I grew up celebrated Homecoming. It was the first time I had been back in Mt. Hermon since Daddy’s funeral. It was not sad, though. I felt very much at home. Most of the time, when I worshiped here, I sat with Daddy while Mama sat in the choir. This Sunday, I sat with Mama. Yet, Daddy was very much there. When the church added cushions to the pews, Daddy was not comfortable, so they had the upholsterer who made the cushions create a removable piece that Daddy could take out and sit on the bare pew. Well, when I looked down the pew I was sitting on Daddy’s “cushion.” It was almost like sitting with him. Then when I exited the church, Pastor Bishop showed me the cross he wore and told me that Daddy had made the cross for him out of walnut wood and signed his name “Floyd” on the back. Pastor Bishop said that he treasured that cross. (Yes, for those who know me, I cried.)

I did not take the camera this morning. I simply went to worship and visit and renew friendships.

Thomas Wolf wrote famously, “You can’t go home again.” But you can go home again. It may not be the same home you left, but it is still home. My former church is small in number. The walls are no longer “pea green.” But the pews are still a natural color, not dark stained. The pipe organ is still in use. There is no choir, and the dress is more casual. (No one wore a suit and tie, or hats, or gloves. My grandmother never went to church without her hat, which she had to remove when she put on her choir robe, and I remember her wearing her gloves as well.)

Still, the liturgy and the hymns remain nearly the same, the gospel message the same.

I can go home again.

Storytelling and Photography

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Today, I read Carol’s comments in “Focusing on Life” on the importance of telling our stories. She cited Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, which I still want to listen to. I am thinking a lot about this idea of telling stories and how I can do that through photography.

Yesterday, my home church had the annual Homecoming Sunday. It is a time for those who have moved away to come home and worship with family and friends. It is also a time for us to honor the Golden Agers of our congregation, those members who are seventy-five and older. And of course, there is the picnic on the grounds after services.

Gramps

I did take my camera with me to help with the photography of the event. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I spent as much time talking and visiting as I did taking pictures! I did take the group picture before church and a few pictures of my family as they sat together in the pews. There were a few more of the golden agers fixing their plates. (Oh my goodness, the food on those tables. Yes, the tables groaned under the weight, and so did I after I finished eating!)

Ryan and Rhett

This is my nephew, Ryan, and my great-nephew Rhett. It’s not hard to figure out these are father and son! Unfortunately, Rhett’s twin sister was not in the mood to have her picture taken!

Golden Agers

There are some dear friends in this group of Golden Agers. Mr. Tommy is my surrogate father, a retired construction worker like my father was. He is always available to help neighbors. He had a serious heart attack a few years back and lost significant heart function, but that has not stopped him. He is a font of wisdom. Ms. Biba is one of my newest friends. She is a widow who took care of her invalid husband for several years. She inspires me. There are also others: my parents-in-law, my husband’s aunt, Pastor Lyerly, and so many others.

golden agers 2

The image above was one of my test shots before the actual picture. See the lady waving? That’s my mother-in-law, and that captures her personality! She is always glad to see her friends and family. I don’t know who she is waving at, but they cannot help but feel welcome!

Miriam

(The lady above is my husband’s aunt, Miriam.)

Each Golden Ager (or couple) receives a print of this image. These pictures will be part of each family’s story, a story of faith, perseverance, and, most importantly, love.