When I was about six years old (1954), I received a two-dollar bill and a picture of Jesus for having good attendance in Sunday School at Centertown Methodist Church. I remember thinking how glad I was to finally see what Jesus looked like! I also remember watching the adults during worship at that time and marveled at how tuned in they were. It was obvious God was in the house.
Fast forward to about 1964 and 11 of us teenagers answered an altar call, was later baptized, and joined the Centertown Methodist Church. It was quite obvious that God was in the house.
Fast forward again to August, 1971 when I married my childhood sweetheart, Joanna, whom I met for the very first time in Centertown Methodist Church when she was a third grader (she was one of the 11 teenagers baptized and joined the church when I did) and now married in Centertown United Methodist Church where we were both members. God was surely in the house!
In 1989, after living away for 22 years, we returned to Warren County (with 2 children) and immediately resumed worshiping at Centertown United Methodist Church. To no one’s surprise, God was still in the house!
And here we are in 2023 still worshiping at Centertown United Methodist Church, having watched our daughter get married there and now worshiping with her family which includes our two granddaughters. When I look around the sanctuary, as I often do during worship on Sunday morning, it’s pretty obvious to me that God is still in the house. As a church family (the people in church that cause it to be a church), we’re connected! As a light on the hill and a beacon in the community, we’re connected! As a denomination, we’re connected! No matter the color, no matter the origin, no matter the personal preference, we’re connected and welcomed at Centertown United Methodist Church!
All this is to say I can and do meet God anytime of my choosing at Centertown United Methodist Church as I have for a lifetime and continue to do so. It was the same in 1954, it was the same in 1968, it’s the same today, and it’ll be the same going forward! We are an open table! Why would I want to be anything or anywhere else? God is still in the house! And by his grace, so am I!