2: Hospitality & the Father’s Peace
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” John 14:27
This one little line from John’s Gospel gives us so much to think about. It brings to light one of the most precious gifts of our Baptism and our belonging to a community of faith. This gift of Christ’s Peace is so important we are called to share it at each Liturgy; however the gift of Christ’s peace is bigger than a handshake with those sitting near us at mass. Those who serve Christ in positions of first contact have the opportunity to share His peace many times each day but it’s a choice.
Ten WELCOMING things you can choose to do!
- Tell people Hello and These two little words pack a mighty punch of hospitality. Ask a few friendly questions as they enter your office or church and offer any direction or information that will help them find their way.
- Make sure they feel like a Guest in The Fathers House and not a stranger. Assure them that they Do belong and you are happy they’ve come.
- Lead people to the resources and information they might need. Lead them to the person they need to meet with if they come to the parish office or direct them to the resources or space they may need to participate fully at Mass or the event they have come to attend.
- Look people in the eye, smile and shake their hand. It seems like such a simple thing to do but nothing makes someone feel welcome more quickly than a personal connection.
- Help families find the ministries, programs and events that meet their needs. Be sure to make them all feel welcome. Children are the baby church and they are more than a demographic; they are our future and they need to be included, loved and nurtured.
- Welcome the children, and realize they are not simply tiny adults. They make noise, they wiggle and they need a loving church to help them grow in the Love of the Father. It’s a great idea to have resources like children’s mass and prayer books designed specifically for them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me…” we need to make sure we allow that to happen.
- Invite newcomers to take part in something offered by the Parish; a meal, speaker, meeting or event of any kind. Give them a specific reason to return and let them know they are wanted and welcomed.
- Tell people thank you for coming, we’re glad you came and we hope to see you again. They are simple phrases that can make a guest at your parish feel like their presence mattered.
- Choose to offer people the kind of hospitality that you would personally want to come back to. Choose to offer God’s welcoming peace to each person no matter what their appearance might be. They are God’s child and it’s our privilege to welcome them to His house.
- Pray for those who were guests and if appropriate, ask them if they have something they would like you to pray for. Make it a point to pray at the end of each day or mass for all who crossed onto your parish grounds as guests that day.
Before you jump to the next email in your inbox, take a minute to pull out your action plan and check your progress. If you have honored all the first commitments you made EXCELLENT! Now it’s time to choose a couple more. If your first commitments are still a work in progress, say a prayer to the Holy Spirit for guidance and continue with your original commitments.
Thank you for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue on this journey to Entertain Angels.
Adam Janke & Sheri Wolhfert
Thou dost keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee,
because he trusts in thee. – Isaiah 26:3