Anyone who has moved to a new community understands what an important spiritual gift hospitality is. Being “new” creates a deeper awareness of the little things that make the difference between feeling welcomed or feeling neglected.
I’m sure that any of you who have recently moved can immediately think of a few people who exhibited the gift of hospitality and who made you feel like you belonged right from the start. Some people are blessed with a gift for sensing needs and putting people at ease. They are the ones who see you with a child in your arms reading every sign in church, approach and ask if you are looking for the nursery, then help you find it. They are the people who come up and introduce themselves when they see you standing alone after a meeting. These warm, friendly individuals can make the difference in helping you feel a sense of belonging rather than a sense of intense loneliness that exists even amidst a large group of people.
At the EXODUS Network, we want to help people become more welcoming and are excited about Welcoming Community! We believe that most people in the Christian community want to be welcoming to others. In fact, we believe most would be welcoming if they were simply made aware of some needs of newcomers and were given practical ideas to help! We also believe that people who move deserve the best possible receptions in their new communities. Being warmly received will help them discover how to use their gifts to serve God in their new community more quickly!
That’s why we have created this FREE e-mail newsletter, called “Welcoming Community.” This newsletter is designed to highlight and enhance the ministry of hospitality within the Christian community, churches and schools. This first edition serves primarily to orient you to Welcoming Community and our publication’s mission, as well as provide you with a few ideas you can begin to implement in your church, school and neighborhood. Future editions of this newsletter will contain more specific tools and ideas for implementation.
One way we are helping you share this information with people you know and meet is by making the articles easy to print and distribute to others. In fact, we encourage you to copy and distribute either the entire newsletter or any specific article to your congregation so your members can sign up to receive their own e-mail copy of the newsletter.
We will be archiving all our feature articles and tools on our www.welcomingcommunity.com web site, which is currently being developed. We’ll be sure to let you know when it is up and running.