Marilyn McEntyre writes about why she goes to church: There are lots of stories of why people don’t go to church but she offers some reasons to take another look. Excerpts A healthy church will give you access to a treasury of words and music.
Here is an interesting post about welcoming – offering it, and claiming it.
Our story in Genesis–and my own story, linked to it–are reminders to me of just another reason why we need to engage visitors with a little more than a nod and the Peace of Christ. It’s not that hard to engage without being annoying–Simply a “Hi, my name’s whatever, and you are…?” and an invitation to coffee hour is a good start. I have learned more things about visitors in the line to get food in the undercroft than I ever have in the back of the nave. Seems like even shy people can get chattier when the conversation turns to food.
Link: Speaking to the Soul
This is absolutely the best time to chat with a newcomer – it’s important to invite a new face to coffee first, introduce yourself, offer information without smothering, and so on. But offering a cup of coffee and a little something sweet (we usually have a variety of yummy things) to a new person means something tangible. Conversations about anything can start over a simple cup of Java and a cookie.
The chalice and ciborium used to illustrate this post, which relates to the story of Joseph and how he used a golden cup secreted in his brothers’ baggage to detain them so he could reveal his identity to them, were donated in February 2008 to St Nicholas (in Exile), Atwater CA. Photo credit Ginny Gibbs.
Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., San Diego Episcopal Bishop James Mathes will lead such a service at St. Pauls Cathedral, near Balboa Park at Fifth Avenue and Nutmeg Street. Its emphasis will be on prayer and healing for those affected by the firestorms. Afterward, there will be pastors available to pray and talk with people. The cathedral also is a drop-off site for donations.
Members who came to St Nicholas via Holy Innocents in Hoffman Estates will remember meeting +James Mathes when he was Canon Mathes of the Diocese of Chicago. He listened as we tried to outline some plans and offered us suggestions, but at that point we were still a couple of years away from grappling with the issue of merger vs. closure vs. continuing. It was helpful that he was there, but it was clear that we had to figure things out for ourselves, as the diocese didn’t really have a lot of resources to allocate a small, struggling mission unless we could show growth potential within a couple of years.
It’s good that Bishop James is now in a position to offer help and the gift of compassion to people affected by the terrible firestorms.