Homestead Labyrinth

Homestead Labyrinth

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Welcoming

I've been reflecting on what it is to be a welcoming community.  Many churches today speak of being welcoming, of hospitality.  What does it mean to be such a community?

A couple of weeks ago as I was making a pastoral call at our local hospital, I happened to have the radio on to NPR, and heard a piece that captured my attention.  It was on "Cowboy Church."  You may want to listen, too: http://www.npr.org/2013/09/01/217268202/cowboy-church-with-rodeo-arena-they-do-church-different

That same week, I received notice of an article posted by the Episcopal News Service (ENS) regarding biker/motorcycle blessings.  It may be found here:
http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2013/08/28/born-to-be-bikers-motorcycle-ministries-reach-out-to-under-served/
I was interviewed via telephone for this article because in one of my previous parishes, I celebrated a biker mass and blessings.

At another one of my parishes, I wanted to extend hospitality  by hosting a monthly Tea and calling the program HospitalTEA.  Each month the menu would vary according to the season.  Monies raised would be donated to welcoming ministries.  It remains just a dream, still, but perhaps something for my future

I've often heard it said that God loves you just they way you are, but refuses to leave you that way.  As I ponder welcoming and hospitality, I also reflect on a God that bids us come . . .

"Just as I am,  without one plea...
O lamb of God, I come, I come."

Welcoming gives way to surrender; surrender to transformation.

How does your community welcome--and whom do they welcome?  What are your hospitality ministries?