In about 30 minutes, my plane lands at LAX. I’ll pick up my rental car and so begins my reunion of sorts. I can’t think of my childhood without memories of Southern California. Of driving with dad and my sisters to Rancho Cucamonga to accompany dad as he helped start a new church, visits to Uncle Romy to play in their pool and water slide, of piling in the car late at night in our pajamas to pick up mom from her evening shift at Cigna.
I return this week, not as a child in tow, the daughter of Pastor Fred Agtarap, but as a young adult and United Methodist agency resource to the Filipino American United Methodists gathered for worship, celebration and a time of learning at the National Association of Filipino American United Methodist gathering in Redondo Beach.
I can probably speak for my sisters in saying that it’s a little strange attending these events without mom and dad to shuffle us around and introduce us to the people who knew us when we were running around in nothing but t-shirts and diapers. But here I am.
With as much travel as I’ve done since working at UMCOM, this trip is probably the one I’m most nervous about. Why? Because I’ll be speaking in front of and connecting with my people. My family. Hundreds of them.
What I hope most for this time is to see our connectional church at work and at play. To see people coming from all over the world, speaking different dialects, united in love and in service to God and to one another. To be reminded that we are a body, re-membered every time we gather.
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