I believe it was Jack London who said, "You can't go home again" (he must, of course, have been quoting Thomas Wolfe). The thought, of course, is that "home" when you go back is not the same place, and you're not the same person you were when the place was "home." It's another way of saying what Heraclitus said centuries before, "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." (You now have read your daily recommended portion of literary quotes for the day. You're welcome.)
This month Mindy and I will be going to "Home Churches", specifically churches where I've served on staff. If you include my internship, I've worked at six churches. Two of those churches have dissolved since we were there (one in Minneapolis and one Santa Rosa), so those are certainly places we can't go home to again.
So, four churches for the four Sundays of September. Three of the four churches we'll be going back to have different senior pastors than in the days we were there. I know that all four have some people who were there back in the day, along with plenty of new folks. Some facilities will surely have changed. When we visit, the place will be different. And, of course, we're different people now.
We are still excited by the chance to go back to familiar places and see familiar faces. And we're looking forward to see the work that God has done to make four new churches for us to visit.
Thanks to Carol Finwall for the photo of a Healdsburg Community Church afternoon on the Russian River about ten years ago.