I spent part of each summer for my whole life in Texas, at least one week in the small town of Goldthwaite, pop. 1878 an hour and a half west of Austin. It is the closest place I have to home. The smells and sounds and sights are as familiar as my own skin. I return year after year to get regrounded, to find my roots.

Even so, things have changed, my grandparent’s generation is mostly gone. We are cleaning out their house and readying it for sale. Stores have changed, restaurants have changed, politics have changed. But the smells and sounds and sights still feed my soul. My relationships with my cousins still matter.

It seems particularly important to be here as I think about other roots in my life, particularly the UMC. This week I was shocked and not so shocked, to learn of a vote that did not affirm the full humanity of women and children. For a moment, a long moment, I thought again about my relationship to the United Methodist Church. But the underlying theology of grace, the call to social justice, and the good music, which are as familiar as my own skin, call me back.

I am rooted in the dirt of the Texas Hill Country even in the midst of its changes. I am rooted in the United Methodist Church even as we struggle to find how to live faithfully. I don’t know where the road will lead. I know that I am rooted in grace.