Worship Sundays @ 9:30 am

As a church community, we have been on a journey to discover a more profound understanding of hospitality. It's not enough to offer a smile and a handshake at the door, although that is important. Biblical hospitality requires us to search ourselves for our deepest needs and use that as a source for helping others.

Our journey has led us to regularly engage four spiritual practices.

What does it mean to be a neighbor? Like the story of the Good Samaritan, being a neighbor means taking time to notice the suffering around us and where the world is in need of mercy. It means that we take care that our interactions with God's world exhibit mutual respect and dignity. Our mission work is reciprocal; We give because we receive and we help because we are helped.

The stranger can be anyone who is in a vulnerable situation or who does not represent the prevailing culture. We take time to notice who is experiencing alienation or those who may be hurt by the systems of power in our world.

When we discover vulnerable people, we stand with them. Their concerns become our concerns. We may literally invite them to join us so they can bring their concerns directly to the gathered community or we may figuratively invite them by praying for them and offering the kind of assistance that can only come when two or more are gathered in God's name.

True hospitality is born from the recognition that we ourselves are in need of care and nurture. Nothing reminds us of that more than when we intentionally place ourselves in situations in which we are not part of the prevailing culture. This could be an literal exercise in traveling to places where we do not resemble the dominant culture. It could also be an metaphorical exercise in identifying how God is calling us out of our comfort zones. Experiencing this kind of displacement rekindles in us the truth that we are all connected and we are all dependent on one another and God for our safety and nourishment.