Faith Covenant Church

Longing for Home

Posted on Nov 30, 2017 in Faith Updates

I thought it would be so great! A trip to a cabin with my friend Burt and his family up in the north woods of Arizona? What grade school kid raised in the desert of Phoenix wouldn’t love that?!

We arrived on a bright, sunny afternoon. Burt quickly showed me around his family’s A-frame cabin. We scrambled up the stairs to the loft where we would sleep and I plopped down my bag. Up there we would be far enough from the downstairs, but still close enough to hear the hub-bub of the living area and kitchen.

A quick bounding down the stairs and then we were off! We ran out of the cabin passing Burt’s dad chopping wood. We ran down a path past tall grass in an open field to a sun-splashed babbling brook. We pretended were on an expedition of great adventure, and it was an adventure! Everything I saw and experienced was new to my young, 8 year old eyes.

When evening rolled around we sat down for dinner, and the food was good, but different. My mom never served food like this. After dinner Burt and I played up in the loft and had fun, but something was clearly missing. What was it? Burt’s mom invited us downstairs for a bedtime story. She read a story that she and Burt had been reading for quite some time. They were in the middle of the story. I didn’t know what had happened so I didn’t know what was happening. She showed me the pictures, but I didn’t know why they were important. Then she walked us upstairs, and tucked us in. She turned off the lights and said good night. Burt and I exchanged a few words before he drifted off to sleep. The house was quiet, and deep down some dam burst. I could keep it in no longer. I tried to cry as quietly as possible so Burt and his parents wouldn’t know. I was homesick.

I lasted one more day of fun, but when the next night rolled around and the lights were turned off, the tears again began to roll. Burt’s mom must have heard my cries. She came upstairs and tried to comfort me. I wanted to to stop crying, but the longing was too great. I wanted to go home. The next day Burt’s dad had to drive back down to Phoenix for work. “Brad, would you like Burt’s dad to take you home tomorrow?”
“Yes!”

Why did I long so deeply for home? For me home was the safest place on the planet. While school was filled with bullies and words that could hurt, my home was filled with a mom and a dad and an older sister who were filled with love and grace and words that build. To be at home was to be at peace. Home wasn’t perfect, but it was safe. The structure was of little importance. The people were of utmost importance.

Frederick Buechner writes:

The word longing comes from the same root as the word long in the sense of length in either time or space and also the word belong, so that in its full richness to long suggests to yearn for a long time for something that is a long way off and something that we feel we belong to and that belongs to us. The longing for home is so universal a form of longing that there is even a special word for it, which is of course homesickness

While December is filled with family and friends coming home for the holidays, the Advent season reminds us we are all just a little bit homesick. St. Augustine explains our longing this way: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

O come, O come, Emmanuel!
Bring us home!

Pastor Brad

Here’s What’s Happening at Faith

Circles of Support 2.0 Capital Campaign Meetings

Thank you to all who attended a Circle of Support Meeting in early November about Faith’s Transform Capital Campaign. If you were unable to join us for one of these sessions, we are hosting three, identical, 30-minute events because we want everyone in our church body to be informed/involved. Please choose one of these meetings: Sunday, December 3 or 10 at 11:45am, or Tuesday, December 5 at 7pm. You will receive your family’s personalized information folder and hear a brief presentation. We will provide a light lunch on Sundays and refreshments on Tuesday. Children will be welcome at the Sunday meetings.

Celebrate the Child Bring-a-Friend Event

What better way to begin the Advent season than by gathering together to hear the story of Christmas in a fresh, powerful way? Come to national actor/writer/comedian Curt Cloninger as he brings his one hour Christmas show, Celebrate the Child, to our church, Sunday, December 3 at 6:30pm. This family-friendly event is sure to bring laughter, reflection, and perhaps a tear as Curt intersperses the story amidst familiar Christmas carols. This is an excellent bring-a-friend event! Tickets are $10/adult, and $5 for children (children 4 and under are free), and will be for sale in the lobby this Sunday. You may also call the church office during the week at 952.890.3110 or may purchase tickets at the event.

A Christmas Gathering Invitation

A Christmas Gathering is an wonderful opportunity to bring women together for a time of warm fellowship and light food, sharing of Christmas traditions, and a non-threatening presentation of the meaning of Christmas. More than any other time of year, people are open to spiritual discussions. A Christmas Gathering, held Wednesday, December 6 at 6:30pm, is a wonderful outreach to family, friends, and neighbors; as you invite them to share an enjoyable evening of holiday joy and hear about the greatest Christmas gift of all. RSVP by Monday, December 4 to Ellen if childcare is needed.

Meatball Dinner & Christmas Carol Sing

In a season of glitz and tinsel, it’s a gift to offer our community a simple evening of warm fellowship and Christmas hymns. Join us Wednesday, December 13 for a Swedish meatball dinner and carol singing. Dinner is at 5:30pm and tickets are required: $8/adult 16+, $4/children 4-15; tickets may be purchased in the lobby on Sunday mornings. The Carol Sing is at 6:30pm in the Legacy Chapel and is free. Invite a friend!

Pray for Christmas at Faith

This Advent season, we are encouraging the entire congregation to join together in intentional prayers of preparation and protection over Christmas and the Christmas Eve services here at Faith. We have prepared 4 suggested prayer points to get you started that will be in insert in this week’s worship folder or will be at a table in the lobby. In addition, we will be conducting a 24-hour Prayer Vigil for Christmas from Saturday, December 16 thru Sunday, December 17 (6pm-6pm). We invite your participation. Please visit the table in the lobby to pick up the prayer points card, to receive more information, and to sign up for a one-hour Prayer Vigil time slot. Contact Jayne with questions.

MOMS Baking & Christmas Bake Sale Fundraiser

The ever popular bake sale benefiting the MOMS Program will be held Sunday, December 3, before and after the service in the lobby. Look for cinnamon rolls, special cookie plates and other goodies. Our popular Lefse and Krumkake are available for pre-orders at $6.00/package each to be picked up that day. Please call the MOMS office, 952.890.5072, or email Jenny at programmanager@momsprogram.org to pre-order. Any of these treats make wonderful holiday gifts!

FaithKids Christmas Program

Our FaithKids will present their Christmas Program during the worship service on December 10, complete with costumes and all the wonderful moments that come as kids tell and sing the Christmas story. Kids will be practicing during parts of their FaithKids Sunday time over the next few weeks, including Thanksgiving weekend. All kids are welcome to participate. This is also a wonderful opportunity to invite a friend (kids to participate or people to watch!). Contact Vicki for more information.

Evening Building Welcome Volunteers

In wishing to be a church that makes an impact in our community, Faith offers our building to several groups throughout the week for meetings and events. Because we also need to be good stewards of the building/resources we have, we rely on volunteers to be at the receptionist desk during these evenings to let people in and direct them to their meeting. Can YOU be one of those volunteers? We have shifts throughout the month that need coverage for 2-2.5 hours per evening. For more information or to sign up, please contact Kevin.