This time of the year is when many of us open our homes to family and friends. I love hosting Thanksgiving. Opening my house to loved ones is a great joy for me. The smell of a turkey roasting, making the whole house smell so good and knowing our guests will be arriving soon brings me happiness. Greeting family as they come into the door, helping them with the food they brought, getting everything ready to sit down and share a meal together is a wonderful feeling. It’s also fun to go to someone else’s house, where you are greeted warmly. I always seem to find myself helping in the kitchen. That’s just my thing; give me something to help with and I am happy. Welcoming others and being welcomed is a wonderful privilege to do and to have done to you. That is what we want to accomplish here at First Lutheran.
We want an environment of extending hospitality to those who are visiting, but also to our members. We want everyone to feel they are personally welcomed here when we have worship on Sundays and Wednesdays as well as anytime we have gathering of people. To make this happen, we need your help on our Hospitality Leadership Team, which will oversee our hospitality. We need help with our action teams exhibiting hospitality to those around them, such as Welcome Center, greeters and visitor follow-up, just to name a few. We need hospitality coordinators to make sure all runs smoothly on Wednesdays and Sundays. I ask you to pray asking God where he wants you to use your hospitality at First Lutheran. We all have the gift of hospitality, just in varying degrees. Each one of us can smile and greet one another. We do that in worship each Sunday and Wednesday. Some of us have the ability to take a stranger under our wing and help them feel comfortable in our church and some of us are somewhere in between. The point is we need everyone’s ability to make First Lutheran a welcoming place.
As you are being welcomed into a home or welcoming others into yours, remember that we need everyone here within God’s house to be welcoming to each other and to our visitors. Ephesians 2:19 says, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God.” So let’s make everyone feel welcomed and not a stranger or alien within our church.
A few people can’t and shouldn’t do it all, each one of us should step up to be on a hospitality action team, or on our hospitality leadership team or both. Everyone’s help is needed, as we begin this adventure of hospitality at First Lutheran Church, welcoming all into God’s house.