As I was growing up, the church was my one constant in a changing world. I was six months old when my father, a foreign correspondent with United Press International, was called to cover the story that would dominate the next decade, the Vietnam War. My mother and I flew from South Carolina to join him in Tokyo, then in Thailand, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong and London before finally returning to the U. S. when I was in the ninth grade. By that time I had already lived in seven countries and attended 11 schools.
I loved the church as a child because it was steady. In all those countries we worshiped as Anglicans, and the ritual and rhythms of the Book of Common Prayer let each new church be old again, and as dependable as lukewarm tea after services and sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Church was a port of comfort in the stormy seas of expatriate life.
Lillian Daniel is senior pastor at First Congregational Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a board member for Interfaith Worker Justice, and author of When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough (Jericho Books).