“Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!.. [For] I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you,... says the Lord.” (Zephaniah 3:14 & 20)
Homecoming (Noun): “A return home; the return of a group of people... to a place formerly frequented or regarded as home” (Mirriam-Webster Dictionary).
“Homecoming” is a great tradition in many churches throughout America. It’s a time to invite former church members, pastors and staff back “home” for a special time of fellowship and worship and eating to celebrate a common history and heritage. Homecoming worship usually involves lots of great, rousing singing, inspiring special music, occasional special presentations, and a challenging sermon preached by a former pastor or staff minister.
It’s a time to reminisce about the past (what the church was like in the “good ole’ days!”), to celebrate the present (how the church has changed to meet current needs), and to be challenged with plans and visions for the future (how the church plans to grow to meet the needs of future generations). In fact, it’s a foretaste of the great “homecoming” celebration that Zephaniah describes in the scripture above.
Here at LaGrange First U.M.C., the time has arrived as we celebrate this great tradition each year in the early Fall! So, mark your calendars for Homecoming Sunday on August 28, from 10:30am to 12:30pm, complete with food, fellowship, and worship featuring the preaching of former Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Greg Porterfield (currently Senior Pastor of Wesley UMC in Evans, GA near Augusta). Worship will begin at 10:30am that day in the Sanctuary (with elements of our three weekly services in one, combined service), Sunday School classes will not meet, and we’ll conclude with a great covered dish luncheon in the Fellowship Hall (the church will provide meat).
I hope you’ll make plans now to be present! It’s a day in the life of your church that you won’t want to miss! I hope to see you there! Remember, God loves you and I do, too!