To hold up another place as home away from home implies a very deep connection and affection for that place. It means that this other home provides the same level of comfort, nurture, sustenance, relief, hope, acceptance, serenity and love. I remember reading this cliché "A house is not a home unless it is filled with love." That is to say that it is love that turns a house into a home-it may not matter how big or small, fancy or derelict that house may be, it is love that makes you want to be in that home. And so for Sonni to describe Christ Church as a home away from home means Christ Church is a place filled with love-just about the same love that fills the home he shares with his family.
I first met Sonni in Philadelphia on a hot summer morning four years ago when he came to visit my former parish with some members of the Search Committee. He was the Senior Warden then, he is very involved and serves Christ Church very well. It has been a blessing getting to know him, his wife Teddy and their boys; Jonah and Luke.
Jonah, like his father, is very involved here at Christ Church-after all, Christ Church is his home too because it is filled with love. He has been a member of Christ Church since he was born, he was one of the candidates who were confirmed last spring. He is an acolyte, plays the viola during Youth Sunday worship and is active in our youth program where he is enriched by the sharing of ideas. He is a member of the Boys' Scout which meets here at Christ Church on Thursday evenings or some other day of the week for some activity. Christ Church provides space for the Boys’ Scout to meet.
It is no wonder that Sonni believes that Christ Church is a home away from home-because at any given week, he is here at Christ Church, two to three days a week, serving or bringing his boys to Scout meetings. It is only a home filled with love that can draw someone like you, me, Sonni or Jonah.
I believe there's more than sufficient grace in considering a church-especially Christ Church as your home away from home-a place filled with love. It is love that draws you and me to this holy space we can call home.
Be assured that there is a place for you at Christ Church-it is also your home, not only because it is a place filled with love, but because with your generosity and kindness you bring life into the love that overflows its boundaries.
Thank you, Sonni and Jonah!