We got the most delightful note placed on the Joys and Sorrows table this past week from someone who was visiting for the first time:
“I am a teacher and I just came here today to hear my friend sing. What a joy to have found this church! What beauty, joy, peace, love… I have taught more than 400 students and will consider my life a success if I bring them even a fraction of the welcome I have felt here. Thank you! Never stop!”
This is such a great response because we’ve also heard from visitors that no one spoke to them. I’m sure that the differing experiences can be accounted for by things like when they came in and where they sat. We’ve had so many guests lately; we know that our new website is working well to orient folks and many folks are coming in having watched several past services. We know our beliefs are radically welcoming and we hope that we can be as well.
If you are attending services in-person, I hope you will go out of your way to greet folks you haven’t seen there before. AND, I am encouraging you all to reach out to some friends you haven’t seen in a while; see how they are, tell them you miss them, and invite them to come back with you.
As we are rediscovering who we are after the pandemic, it will take all of us to encircle all of us and become the radically welcoming community that our visitor last week thinks we are.