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Hospitality is one of the pillars of Stewardship. As disciples of Christ, we are called to live and preach the Gospel message in our lives, in the way we act, think and speak. There are many wonderful scriptures that teach us to be hospitable to one another.
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me" Matthew 25:35
When we come together as the Body of Christ, how do we greet one another? A hand shake, a smile, knuckles, or a warm embrace, someone calling out your name and greeting you with the sense of family and friendship. Our human nature, the way God made us, requires love. To love and to be loved is a fundamental need as human beings. In a hospitable parish, parishioners and newcomers alike feel that they belong and are part of the parish family. This sense of ownership and belonging helps us to connect with one another, and strengthens and grows Stewardship as a way of life.
"Peace be with you. The friends you greet; greet the friends there each by name." 3 John 1:15
"Where everybody knows your name." Name that TV show. Cheers! People want to belong and connect with others. Knowing and learning each other's names is important. It is a fundamental step in getting to know one another. Knowing each other by name is one of the most dynamic ways of establishing hospitality and welcome and growing in Stewardship as a way of life. This is why we do Name Tag Sundays the first weekend of every month. In Growing an Engaged Church, it also speaks to Engagement Item #4: "In the last month, I have received recognition or praise from someone in my parish."
"Be hospitable to one another without complaining" 1 Peter 4:9
In today's day and age, we are all busy. Sometimes too busy to look up from our electronic devices to notice the people around us. Hospitality can be difficult in a fast paced world. However, God calls us to be hospitable to one another. So keep your brothers and sisters in Christ in your prayers. God will lead you in your life in how to be more welcoming. Imitate the positive example of those people who have welcomed you into their lives.