Why We Call It Home
The Welcome Home sign, it’s the first thing you see as you enter the grounds of America’s Keswick… A term of endearment to all who enter. In fact, it is inspired by the verbal comments and notes of encouragement we have and still do receive from guests, Colony residents, friends, and even staff.
There’s just something about this place…When I’m here, I’m home…It’s like a second home to us…We feel right at home here…I feel so at home just taking a nap on one of the couches in the lobby… I’m home…
It doesn’t take long before people discover that what they “feel” is the Spirit of God!
From the President’s Heart
Growing up in Philadelphia, our house was always an interesting place to be, particularly during the holidays.
One never knew who you’d find sitting around our dining room table. My Mom and Dad both came from dysfunctional families, and maybe that is why they were so sensitive to people outside the “traditional” family who needed a glimpse into what it meant to be a part of a family.
Thinking back now, Mom and Dad helped my brother and me to think globally when it came to family. Sitting around the dinner table could be singles without families, widows, and widowers who had recently lost their mates, senior citizens whose kids either were too far away or not interested, and people from all ethnic backgrounds.
The food was always plentiful, the laughter contagious, and the fellowship sweet. Somehow we always ended up around the piano singing, followed by lots of fun games and all-you-can-eat desserts. As the crowd dispersed, the one thing that was always said was, “Thanks for including us as part of your family.” What I realize now is that this was God’s platform for teaching me the concept of family in strategizing for the ministry at America’s Keswick. One of our core values is to be a multi-generational, cross-cultural ministry.
Our prayer is that when you drive on the grounds, you will see the WELCOME HOME signs and feel a part of the family of God. Our world has changed and “family” has a different feel today than when Ozzie and Harriet were raising their kids. Yes, there are traditional families who attend our conferences and retreats, but the make-up of the “family” is quite different. Our America’s Keswick family is comprised of single-parent families, singles, widows and widowers, and senior citizens. And our family is also taking on a global feel as we minister to brothers and sisters from a variety of different ethnic backgrounds.
Somehow I think that our mission is a rehearsal for how God’s forever family will look when He welcomes us home. People of all ages, a variety of backgrounds represented from every tongue, tribe, and nation. Now that I think about it, a conference at America’s Keswick is much like being at our house growing up. There’s plenty of scrumptious food, warm and friendly fellowship, invigorating Christ-centered worship, and lots of great fun.
Bill Gaither wrote these words:
Plenty of room in the family,
Room for the young and the old;
Plenty of happiness, plenty of love,
Plenty of room in the fold.
Allow us the privilege of welcoming you to the table! Come be a part of our America’s Keswick family and allow us to say, “WELCOME HOME!”
Dr. Bill Welte, President & CEO