Pastor Amy Grant
What comes to mind when you think of hospitality? A warm cup of coffee and a friendly welcome? Those are great starts, but God’s hospitality is much more!
The earthly way of hospitality is usually based on a transaction. Often this transaction is financial—I pay for a meal and a chef prepares it, a waiter serves it, and others clean it up. At other times, an approval-based transaction is tacitly required. I welcome you to my church or my club and I am rewarded by your approval and desire to join with me in membership.
God’s hospitality is not based on a transaction. Professor Amy Oden explains that the primary pattern of God’s hospitality is indicated in Jesus Christ. God took on a body and in doing so welcomed all humanity into the abundant, tribune life.
Think about how God has welcomed you into new life with God. In my own experience, like that of many, was the beginning of a life of healing and restoration, letting go and receiving new life, grace and forgiveness. That is the hospitality that God offers to everyone, and we are called to offer others in the name of Jesus Christ. We can’t create God’s hospitality, but we can receive it and pass it along.
FUMC begins putting a great emphasis on extending God’s hospitality in love this year. Here’s how it starts:
- September Sermon Series: Rev. Bonney and I will deliver a 4-part sermon series introducing the topic of God’s hospitality, and how offering it requires readiness, risk, repentance, and recognition on our part. (September 2, 9, 23, 30)
- Greeters Return! Many of you remember the times when FUMC had greeters stationed at most entrances. That wonderful practice is returning. Beginning in September, greeters welcome everyone—visitors and long-time members by stationing greeters at the West entrance off the parking lot and in the Narthex.
- Hospitality Room: Many of our guests enter the building through the West entrance, but aren’t sure where to go from there. Room 101, across from the preschool office, is being transformed into a welcoming space for greeters to receive visitors, offer a cup of coffee or water, and new persons can learn more about the church in a comfortable, receiving environment.
These are just a few of the ways that FUMC is transforming to extend God’s hospitality to all. If you would like to learn more about God’s hospitality or help share it with others, let me know.