Before I left as pastor of the Mount Airy Charge, the congregation made sure that I would come back to speak at the first Homecoming after my one year seperation. You see, in the United Methodist Church, when a pastor is appointed to a new church, they are not allowed to be in pastoral contact with their previous church for a year. By doing this, the previous pastor allows time for the new pastor to become the pastor. It doesn't mean that you stop being friends with the people in your church, it simply means that you are no longer their pastor. That role is now assmed by someone else, someone who will visit the sick, pray with them, provide guidance, and serve them. It is a good rule. I didn't say it was an easy rule, for the pastor or the congregation, but it is a good rule.
Anyway, this past July my year was up. So when it came time for Providence UMC's Homecomng on September 9th (always the second Sunday of September), I was already scheduled. It was wonderful to see old friends and renew bonds, not that they needed renewing. Some of the members weren't able to there, but we'll catch up with them later, so they should consider themselves forwarned. Brian Daniels read the scripture and sang a special song. How I have missed Brian's readings. I wish I could get him to read my scripture passage each week.