My hometown isn't big. If fact I guess it's not really a town at all. A Village? OK, that might fit nicely enough. But it really wasn't that either. It was more of a community.

Yep, that's what it was, the place where I grew up. It was a community.

There was a small cafe, small grocery store, couple hardware stores, a gas station, even a car dealership. It had two elementary schools in those days.

Most of those things are gone now, or closed or changed. Time has a way of doing that, doesn't it?

And then of course there was the church. In fact, two churches: one on the north side of the street and one on the south. They're both still there standing proud. I went to the one on the north side of the street, thank you very much.

What's the name of the church? It doesn't really matter, does it? At least it doesn't for what we're doing here. What we're doing is remembering, reminiscing, thinking about your church from your childhood.  And mine.

The old church, well it was really a lot more than a church. It was a gathering place, the gathering place for the whole community. It was where everyone, young and old, farmers and farmers wives, teens and babies, shopkeepers and their families - it's where we all would meet, come together each Sunday Morning.

They droves pickups and cars, walked and skipped and laughed and cried together every Sunday Morning. They sang and they prayed and they listened.

They put on their Sunday best - suits and ties and the best Sunday dresses, they put slippery, greasy oil in their hair and combed it down, shining.

Mama's would spit on the handkerchief and wipe a bit of smudge from that little boys face. And everyone would sit in exactly the same place every Sunday Morning.

Dads would give peppermints to the kids to try and keep them quiet. That sermon was so long!

And it never changed. I swear, in my memory and yours, it never changed did it?

If someone wasn't sitting in their spot at church, someone better stop by their house 'cause they must be sick!  Bring along some soup, or maybe a pie.

After church, the kids would go to Sunday School and the Dads would stand out in front of the church smoking their cigarettes and talking about the corn or the beans or the price of pigs and cows.

Everyone knew everyone. And not only that, everyone cared about everyone.

A school may be the heart of a community. But the church - the church is that warm, comfortable feeling that rests in the deep part of your belly.  Or at least it should be.