“People will forget what you said, forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
— Maya Angelou
It’s time to gear up for my absolute favorite holiday: Thanksgiving! I will plan for this meal from now until Turkey Day — the menu, the grocery lists, table decorations, linens, and dishes — to ensure that everyone who comes to my house feels comfortable and cared for. I want my guests to know how much I care about them the minute they walk through my door, and when they leave, I want their heart to be as full as their tummy!
So, how perfect is it that Rev. Lance Marshall will spend the month of November talking about Radical Hospitality in The Gathering? As we all prepare for guests in our home this holiday season, it’s also the perfect time to talk about how we prepare for guests at FUMCFW.
God puts visitors in our midst every Sunday, and how we receive those guests determines whether or not they will return. Being intentional in the way we as a church welcome and care for our visitors allows us to carry out the mission of the United Methodist Church as a whole: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by proclaiming the good news of God’s grace and by exemplifying Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor.”
When a visitor experiences radical hospitality, it makes them feel comfortable enough to let their guard down, relax in their surroundings, and enjoy and engage in what is taking place around them. It is in that moment change occurs and there is a shift from absorbing to participating, or feeling part of what is happening — and that is what I hope people feel at First Church.
The truth is, it takes courage for someone to come to church where they might not know anyone, or might not have been to church in a long time — but today is the day they decide to muster up the courage to go. When they get here, will they find someone who goes out of their way to welcome them? First Thessalonians, Chapter 2, verse eight says, “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” So I hope you’ll join us in The Gathering as we prepare to enact Radical Hospitality this holiday season and beyond at FUMCFW.
See you Sunday!
Director of Welcoming Ministries