A place becomes a home

“Boxland” is what Nancy called it. Right after the moving truck pulled away we had some visible furniture but mostly boxes surrounding us. The parish had done a wonderful renovation that restored this 1890’s house to be a residence rather than offices and storage space. A very nice house, but it was unfamiliar.

We let the cats loose from their “captivity” in the bathroom (where they were safe and as secure and calm as possible with the constant sound of people and things moving into various rooms around them.) They hesitantly emerged and spent time crying and sniffing and getting used to the strange new setting for the familiar things. They were skittish, uncertain and stressed.

Neighboring clergy stopped by, members of the parish provided us with meals, some offered to do errands, and others stopped by to see if we needed anything.

Slowly over days we brought out more and more familiar things and the boxes began to disappear. While we did not cry and sniff like the kitties, it has taken us time to relocate ourselves in this setting. (We still get lost a mile from home – but it is now home.)

It struck us both during our first service on September 4th that the setting was new but that gathered community, the sharing of story, offering of communion elements, breaking of bread and sharing of the cup were all familiar. There was a sense of being home, of being grounded, even in the face of so much that is unfamiliar.

The other day we realized the Emma & Grace were lazing around in sunny patches – stretched out in relaxed ease. They discovered this house was really home. And WE have found we are no longer in “boxland”, that Jeffersonville, St Paul’s, and 321 Market Street has become our home,  And we knew in the breaking of the bread that we have a new address, and new unfamiliar geography, but we are at home with new brothers and sisters in Christ.




About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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3 Responses to A place becomes a home

  1. Mary Hutchison says:

    Glad you are settling in so well. We are pretty well “box-free” now, but dread the next phase of going back to Brockport to finish the packing and moving. Hopefully the house will sell soon. We love the new church and the people of Trinity and are finding Asbury Park to be great fun. Even though we did arrive with an earthquake and a hurricane – we just tell people it was the Holy Spirit blowin’ in!

  2. Judith Bailey says:

    Dear Father Hill,
    I’m so glad you have continued your online reflections. It’s difficult to know just who is reading and thinking about your words. Count me in as one of your loyal readers. For me, it’s like having a “condensed sermon in my pocket.” Thanks so much. Best of luck to you and to Nancy in your new home.

  3. Sonny McCulloch says:

    I have been reading your blog since we first met. It has become a venue to know a bit more about you. I am glad you and Nancy are here in Jeffersonville and are finding it is now home.

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