If you’re fortunate, a few times in life you discover a place where you immediately feel at home.
Perhaps it’s a house you view while searching for a new home. As soon as you step inside, you know your search is over. This happened to me with the first home I ever purchased
Or it could be a vacation destination. Even if you don’t make it your permanent home, you know as soon as you arrive that a return trip is on the horizon. Only minutes after Diane and I crossed the state line into Maine, we knew we would be back.
Last year we attended a beef and noodle fundraising supper at the Pulaski United Methodist Church. As soon as we stepped inside we noticed two things were rather odd – it was hot and stuffy inside, and the serving line was not moving.
We quickly learned that a freak power outage had struck, making it impossible to finish cooking the noodles. Instead of frustration, however, what we saw were patient smiles, and the friendly banter was contagious. Those waiting in line joined in the camaraderie, and we decided to stay and wait for the power to return.
It was a wise and fortunate choice. Soon the lights came on, prompting cheers from everyone in the fellowship hall. Soon we were served and the food was worth the wait.
Even after we finished our meal and returned home, the friendly patience of those church members in trying circumstances stuck with me. Many of them were people I have known for much of my life, and friends and family members were among the supper consumers.
It wasn’t the first time Diane and I have supported one of the church’s fundraisers. We have stopped by for their ice cream socials and vegetable soup before, but we never stayed and instead ordered it to go.
Yet, as soon as we stepped inside that fellowship hall I felt very much at home.
It wasn’t long before we decided to attend a Sunday service there, and we’ve never looked back. It indeed has become our worship home.
Although it’s been less than a year since we started attending there regularly, our connection with the Pulaski United Methodist Church goes back many, many decades – long before we were born, even before our great-grandparents were born. The congregation first met in the cabin of John Perkins, the founder of Pulaski. Later, around 1835, Perkins built the original portion of the brick house north of Pulaski that we now call home.
I have always admired the current Pulaski Methodist Church building, which dates to around 1900. When I walked inside I was struck by the beauty of the interior as well. I feel a deep connection with history, and while seated in the pews I sometimes imagine the church members of days gone by, the men in dark suits and hats, the ladies in long dresses, their horses and buggies parked outside.
As our minister noted just last Sunday, though, the church is much more than just a building. In its deepest sense the church is the congregation, the people, and in this regard the Pulaski Methodist Church has a very solid foundation. From our first day there I have anticipated returning. We are indeed among friends, and I find the fellowship extremely uplifting.
Like many rural churches, the congregation is small. I will note that it is indeed mighty, though, with an outreach that belies the members’ numbers.
As I contemplate what I am writing, I realize a powerful motivating factor is to spread the word about this little treasure of a church. If you are thinking about a place for fellowship, please pay us a visit. My guess is you won’t regret it.
In keeping with those who came before me, I’d love to share my new place of worship. There is plenty of room, and more than enough welcome.
Who knows, you just might feel right at home.
Don Allison is an author, columnist and retired editor of The Bryan Times.