“I was a stranger and You Welcomed Me”
Over the last several months the Session, during our visioning time, has been discussing the topic of resilience. One of the keys to resilience is knowing who you are and what you value. As we identified our values, we went on to talk about how well we live into those values. Our number one value was that we accept each person that God sends our way and welcome them into our family. As we discussed this, we recognized that while we do a fair job of welcoming new people, we could improve.
That is where you all come in. The Session members have begun making an effort to identify visitors each week and make sure that someone has welcomed them. We would like to invite you to join us in this important work. I am inviting you to do a few small things each week to make sure that we find a way to welcome our visitors:
A Simple Guide to Welcoming Visitors
- As I sit down in my special seat (fourth row from the back on the right side, you fill in the seat), look at the pew in front, the pew I am in, and the pew behind me to see if there are people I don’t know.
- During the Passing of the Peace, I make a point to shake their hand and offer the peace of Christ to them.
- As we fill out the friendship pads and pass them, check it on the way back to see their name.
- After the service is over, I personally invite them to the fellowship time, offering them coffee or a bottle of water and a cookie.
- As I talk with them, I make a point to introduce them to someone else.
- On the way home, thank God for the chance to meet them and ask that God bless them over the coming week.
- As I come to church next week, I make a point to look for them and welcome them again.
That is one way of doing it, but it is certainly not the only way to do it. However we welcome people, what matters is that we welcome them because God loves them and wants us to love them as well. We have the privilege of being God’s welcoming committee. Let us live into that role.
Because of Christ,