I came to West Concord Union Church for the sake of my children. That is what I thought in 1985: For my children. I wanted them to have what I had had at Lakewood Methodist Church—a place, other than school, to figure out how to be in the world; at least a rudimentary knowledge of Bible stories; exposure to and participation in great church music; and witness to good people performing good works in the community. Though they got all that and more here, I am envious of the wonderful Sunday School and children’s choir that I observe now, richer than what I and other parent volunteers could offer in the old days of the 80’s.
But now that our children, aged 38 and 36, are launched, I have to ask myself why I am still here. What keeps me coming back? It can’t be just that I like our organ better than any other in Concord. How has it come to pass that so many of my activities in retirement are church-related? That was not necessarily how I had imagined things. I was supposed to be cleaning my closets and getting my house in order!
Hannah used a phrase in her sermon a few weeks ago that resonated with me so much that I grabbed the little pencil from the pew in front of me and scribbled it in my bulletin. She spoke of “the kingdom of God within and around us.” That is what I sense here in the people and in the activities that I have been and continue to be involved in at West Concord Union Church. I feel the kingdom of God in this church every time I enter the door, and I feel the kingdom of God within myself when I work on behalf of the church. That kingdom comforts AND challenges me. I give my time and money to the church to ensure that I continue to be comforted and challenged and that the church continues to offer that same comfort and challenge to others.