Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church


Clergy Corner

Homecoming and Confirmation

  • The Rev. Bob Dannals
  • Sep 20, 2017
  • Category: General
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One Sunday in the spring of 1981 I went home ... to my hometown and to my home church to preach.

My earliest memories of that church are also the most formative images I have of what church ought to be. When I was a little guy, I remember the church as dark, huge, mysterious and welcoming. With memory's eye, I see flickering candles and a cross gleaming against a reredos of dark wood. Stained glass of saints peered down on the nave and I recall the muted organ tones coming from the console that my mother played. I remember a musty smell of beeswax, old prayer books, and furniture polish. But what I remember most was the wonderful span of generations who cared for each other and for the place. What I now know is that many people gave and gave and gave some more so that I had a great place to grow up in the faith, a community where I learned the stories of the Bible, an altar and a Font whereby I was nourished by the sacraments, and where I had room to ask questions and explore living the Christian life.

This Sunday, September 24, is Homecoming at Holy Innocents. People will arrive with their own memories of this place as home. They will recollect and reminisce, casting their minds and hearts back, to be nostalgic, to recall when significant events happened, when faith was cultivated and lived.

But going home is not just about going back. If it were merely a return to the past then such an occasion could be just mournful, a realization of what is now lost, the people who are not here any longer. No, going home also means how we will live well and faithfully into the future.

As a primary expression of living into the future, we will have within the context of the 10am Eucharist the sacrament of Confirmation. So, at the same rails which have nourished thousands before, confirmands young and old will present themselves before Bishop Johnson -- to make a mature, public commitment to living their faith both in the church and out in the world.

Another memory when I went home to preach was the familiar smell of "dinner on the grounds"; smells of fresh comfort food among familiar and supportive people. We will do the same this Sunday -- fried chicken and all of the fixings, including fresh, home-made desserts.

So, welcome back, welcome home where all have found a community and a place to belong.

Bob Dannals