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Radical Hospitality

"Churches always think they are friendlier than they are.” I’ve consistently heard this my entire time in ministry. Seriously, how does a community of faith balance the joy of being together with the invitation to invite others into the togetherness? Have you ever felt that tension? You are in a conversation with someone at church but in the corner of your eye you notice someone new. Do you interrupt your conversation and introduce yourself? Maybe you decide that’s exactly what you’re going to do — as soon as the person you’re talking to pauses. But by the time the pause happens the new person has left.

It doesn’t seem to be as simple as it sounds.

I’ve led workshops concerning "radical hospitality," but even I get caught in the awkwardness of needing to listen to one person and reach out to another at the same moment. And yet, you — The People Called Gretna United Methodist Church -- have a way of welcoming everyone so authentically and naturally.

This is where we need the wisdom of the room: What is one thing folks like me can commit to doing (or not doing) so that every person who enters our doors feels welcomed and noticed? If you’ve ever walked into a church for the first time you know how meaningful a genuine welcome truly is.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,

but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

--Maya Angelou

Pastor Jo

July 18, 2022

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