By Michele Wong McSween
My gratitude for Marble Collegiate Church began 22 years ago. I had been living in New York for a year, when my mom asked if I was ready to find a church home. She suggested I visit Marble because it the same denomination as our church in Sacramento, California.
I remember when I first walked through the doors of Marble. The warm smiles of the greeters, the majestic sanctuary, the moving music, the angelic voices of the choir, the positive messages, and the warmth of Dr. Caliandro. I could instantly feel that this place was special. I knew I was home.
Becoming a member of Marble deepened my faith, my connection to God, and fostered close and meaningful relationships with other members. When I had my sons, Walker and Harry, I discovered a whole new level of love and support at Marble. Through the caring guidance of the children’s ministry, my boys became involved in the Sunday School, the Cherub Choir, and the Christmas pageant. We felt nurtured as a family and would look forward to our Sundays at Marble, where we could start the week with a positive and relatable message.
When I became pregnant with Stevie, it became more difficult to make the commute from Brooklyn. We tried to find a church home in our own neighborhood, but after trying several churches over a few years, it became clear…there is no place like Marble.
I missed Marble’s warmth and hospitality. I missed Marble’s uplifting music and glorious choir. I missed our friends. I missed the inspiring messages. I missed singing the hymns I grew up with. I missed reading the program cover to cover. I missed volunteering and giving back to the community. I missed seeing our boys thrive in a nurturing, loving environment. I missed our home.
One Christmas, my parents were visiting from California and my mom suggested we attend Marble’s Christmas Eve Service. I thought, “How do we go back after being away for so many years?” I was worried that we’d be judged for being gone so long. But, once we walked through the doors of Marble, we were greeted with warm, smiling faces and arms reaching out to us saying, “Welcome home!” There was no judgement, just love and genuine happiness to see us again. With tears in my eyes, I knew we were home.
I’m so grateful for Marble and all the blessings I’ve received since I stepped through those doors 22 years ago. Marble is the place where I’m able to feed my spiritual soul. Marble is where my family and I can reconnect after a very full week. Marble is where I’m surrounded by faith, love, acceptance, and support. Marble is my home…and there’s no place like home.