Home church…. kinda like homeschool… when regular church attendance became unavailable due to COVID we did the next best thing. Each Sunday our front room became a place of worship. What to do? Families all over the world came up with what would work best for them. Here is what we did.
Each of us would peruse the hymnal and choose a hymn. We would study and share one or two scripture references that correlated with the hymn. Sometimes we would look up the composer or other related history. When all were ready we would each take a turn sharing what we had prepared. Together we would sing all verses and then have a discussion about the words, thoughts and feelings we had experienced. Wow! What memorable times we had together! First of all I should mention that Kimberly was still at home and Jackie and Natalie were able to join us each week as well as some roommates/friends. Every one of those girls was able to accompany us on the piano at a moment’s notice. For a couple weeks we even had a young lady majoring in something related to opera performance. That took us all to a new level of singing! When fall semester began and we lost our singers we had to turn to our phones for accompaniment… it became a little rough but it was still good.
Back to our worship. Imagine singing and studying sacred words with people you love. We discussed lines such as,
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”
“He is my salvation from sorrow and sin.”
“Since thou art my guardian no evil I fear”
“I will praise and adore at the mercy seat”
“Meet the world’s repining with a courage strong”
Over six or seven months we discussed hundreds of lines such as these. It was wonderful to hear the insights and feel the faith of these young women. Wonderful to share such sacred moments with loved ones in our home each week. I am certainly not a musician but I do believe that there is power in music. Treasured memories!!
A few other notes about home church. We dressed in our Sunday clothing (dresses/white shirt and tie) and kept an eye on each other’s footwear… no bare feet or flip-flops… (I accidentally did this several times and had to go change). A fun tradition developed over the weeks. It turns out our group of college girls loves to cook (or learn how to cook) and so our Sunday dinners evolved from Mom providing dinner to Mom providing ingredients while they spent time in the kitchen and then presented us with delicious food. Treasured and delicious memories!!
As much as I love home church I can scarcely express how wonderful it felt to be gathered together with fellow worshippers inside our church building in June. (We went in small groups every other week.) We are in a somewhat unique situation because we moved to this area during COVID and have not been able to get to know anyone. Therefore I know these good feelings are not just about being with friends – I have learned the importance of gathering. We wear masks as we attend church each week and at home are even more inclined than before to engage in gospel-centered discussion. Life is different but life is good (though I often miss those big dinners)!
Photos below show a couple dinners that the girls prepared for us – grilled fish tacos with homemade tortillas and Mediterranean with homemade pita. Mmmmmm!