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:
I was interviewed via telephone for this article because in one of my previous parishes, I celebrated a biker mass and blessings.
What does it mean to be a welcoming community where you are? How has a hospitality ministry made a difference to your faith community?
It saddens the heart to read that visitors received so little attention on a Sunday morning. Not everyone is a member; some need a word of encouragement. Be attentive; look for the stranger in your midst, and then, offer them the peace of Christ with signs and symbols of welcome.