In October 2019, the congregation contributed to a crowd-sourced poem called Where We're From. It reflects the breadth of backgrounds gathered for worship, fellowship, and outreach at South Church.
Where We're from
I AM FROM the beauty of the New Hampshire countryside, where you can’t help but believe.
I’m from a simple wooden church, enfolded by live oak trees draped with Spanish moss. I’m from the sound of a loon over still waters, the smell of pitch in the hot sun.
I am from rosaries and first communion, Mom assigning seats in the pew to keep giggling siblings apart. From never having walked into a church, then being welcomed into the Methodist congregation. From a family that celebrates the lives of loved ones who have passed and a God who works miracles we see every day.
I’m from Southern hospitality: open arms and hugs of greeting.
I’m from early rising, even on a Sunday morning, singing along with the priestly ringing of bells.
I’m from the river that flows like God’s love.
I am from the old farmhouse on the dirt road; from “be kind” and “follow your heart.”
I am from a cathedral of old pines and hemlocks, needles fragrant under foot, golden light filtering down in misty shafts.
I’m from coming to church with Ama, from drying the dishes together: hand-me-down dish towels in a kitchen filled with the laughter of my church family.
I'm from a Catholic and a Baptist, from a new, loud, laughing group.
I am from the brisk Canadian forests; laughter-filled days of paddling; gentle, crackling campfires; and long nights swaying in hammocks.
I am from a place of hope; from church cheese and apple juice; from a donkey named Daisy; and from a confirmation class drinking hot chocolate.
I’m from the mother teaching me the Our Fatherprayer and from asking “what’s on the other side?”
I’m from the voice: I Love to Tell the Story, Holy Ground, Blessed Assurance.
I'm from there has to be something bigger than me. From a grateful place—a place to teach my children. From the example of Jesus: accepting everyone, taking on tasks with love.
I’m from the music, the faith in God, the power of prayer, the growth of our youth.
I’m from small communities and close relations, from large family and strong love.
I’m from cradling a baby Jesus in Fellowship Hall—calming her fussing before her entrance.
I am from Christmas Eve candles, lighted one by one.
I’m from the church school chalkboard and Reverend Ripley’s compassionate smile. From an old and plain church and Bob’s sermon, filled with love and sense. From the beauty of where we are and the comfort of talking to the Lord.
I’m from Sunday school in the firehouse rec center, then “big church” after 8th grade.
I’m from Mother and Father, sun and wind, and from joyous gospel songs. God is for everyone; we are all connected.
I’m from serving as deacon: visiting the sick and those who can no longer attend the service.
I'm from many steps into a large stone church, a Hungarian community.
I’m from midnight mass in Latin, then meat pie and hash, hotcakes, and hot coffee.
I’m from hard-working, hardscrabble stock—the history of this nation, from Gloucester to Maine.
I’m from the first generation Americans: Armenians, Irish, and Italians.
I’m from Junior Choir: robed, united, learning to breathe and sing together.
I am from a raw granite-top of a mountain: the Holy Spirit moving through trees on the wind. From three voices singing When you walk through a storm... to survive the loss; From a gentle, warm breeze coming over us as he says, “God bless.”
I am from the red brick church, the one near Rite Aid, the one you can see from miles away: High in the balcony, Marion’s starburst quilt, countless patterns and pieces all stitched together.