With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #44.

We revisited this church, which we attended some fifteen years ago. Though many of the people we knew then had scattered to other churches or just dropped out, a good number remained. I anticipated a time to reconnect with long ago friends. Also the congregation had grown, and there was a different minister. I wondered how much has changed.

Before and after the service, we didn’t put forth any effort to talk with anyone; we didn’t have to. People came to us in droves. We enjoyed their celebration of our presence, even though they came close to overwhelming us.

Although some churches embraced us well as visitors, none came close to the welcome this church gave us as longtime friends. This gives me pause. Do I give visitors the same attention and enthusiasm as I give to my friends? I don’t, but I should.

[See my reflections about Church #43 and Church #45 or start at the beginning of our journey.]

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