Letters to the Editor
April - May 2008

'A far-reaching home'

I was so delighted when my church, Church of the Savior UCC in Roswell, Ga., moved affiliation to the UCC so many years ago. I was proud of what that tradition represented. Little did I know what blessings would come from that move.

In December, my husband and I lost his only son in Maryland. For the service, we found the Rockville [Md.] UCC on the denomination's website. When I called the minister, the Rev. Duncan Newcomer, and asked if he could help us, there was no hesitation. The church welcomed us as if we were long-time friends. The minister was brand new to the congregation, but he radiated such a comfort and love of the community, I can't describe how at-home he made us feel.

The next time I give thanks for our relatively new tradition, I shall remember to expand it beyond our doors. The stranger in need of help finds welcome here, with no qualifications or questions asked. This is truly at the heart of "welcome and affirming." We tend to apply that term too tightly. We all need to feel welcomed and affirmed. What a blessing to have such a far-reaching home.

Melanie Rilling
Church of the Savior UCC
Roswell, Ga. 


Rev. J. Bennett Guess
Executive Minister, Local Church Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115