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United Church of Christ
National Site

285 West National Drive
Newark, Ohio 43055
(740) 323-2407


Pastor's message

2018 October message

Dear members and friends of St. John’s:

Have you ever been homesick? One time in High School, I went to journalism camp and had a bad case of it. As a confirmation camp director, I spent a good deal of time consoling homesick campers/

Two of my favorite movies of all time, E.T. and the Wizard of Oz, have one thing in common - lead characters that are homesick.

As Billy D, Strayhorn puts it, “All Dorothy and the Extraterrestrial really wanted was to go home. That sense of home is so important to us that we have tons of phrases like: "A man's home is his castle. All the comforts of home. Charity begins at home. Come home, all is forgiven. Don't leave home without it. Keep the home fires burning. Make yourself at home. There's no place like home. Wherever I hang my hat, that's home."

Home is a place where we're recognized, greeted, welcomed, loved and supported. If all of these sensations are missing from our lives, we become lonely, our hearts ache and we long for those feelings. You can't really define home but you CAN feel at home. And you know WHEN you're home.

Our church homes are much the same. Are you feeling down and discouraged? Come home to St. John’s and you will be comforted. Do your hearts ache? Come home to St. John’s and you will be healed.

Are you lonely? Come home to St. John’s and you will have fellowship. Is something missing from your life? Come home to St. John’s and we will help you find it.

In the lyrics to a song he wrote for our 175th anniversary celebration, Mike Livingston says, “you may run, you may hide, but you’re never too far away, if Jesus is really your guide. You may be brand new here or many years you have stayed, welcome home, welcome home to St. John’s!” At the end of our all-too-busy and stressful days, there’s no place like home. And, at the end of our all-too-busy and stressful weeks, there’s no place like our church home.

Like Dorothy and E.T., we all long for a place to call home. You and I have such a place in the “south end of town.”

Let’s all take some time to pray about the reasons we need to go to church and how often we attend. Whether you are able to attend weekly, every other week, monthly, bi-monthly or a few times a year, it is very important that we spend time together as a congregation, a church family. And it’s even more important to remind each other that we are never alone with Jesus as our guide.

Please know that whenever you come by here, there will always be someone to recognize, greet, welcome, love and support you. You always have a place to hang your hat at St. John’s.

And the best part is you don’t need to click your heels or call the mothership to get here. Just hop in your car and we’ll see you on Sunday!.

In Christ’s love,

Rev. Mark

Rev. Mark Katrick