A Hospitality Mindset

Posted by Ruth Beresford on

We have talented members who use their gifts and skills to shape the world around us according to the wisdom and will of God and with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Kendall Massett is such a Christian. For five years she has been the Executive Director of the Delaware Charter Schools Network. Recently she gave a TED Talk at the Hotel du Pont, where people who are passionate about education gathered to inspire and ignite creativity and care in the work of raising up children and youth in learning communities of all shapes and sizes. I wasn't there, but Lynne Jensen, our Minister for Children, Youth, and their Families, sent me the link to Kendall’s talk, and I want to share it with you (click here). I share it for the sake of education but also for a message to the church; I think Kendall’s talk can inspire congregations as well as schools.

Simply, she speaks about the practice of hospitality and how it creates environments to encourage and care. I've visited inhospitable churches - places where no one spoke to me, though it was clear I was a guest. They left me cold, but I've also visited churches where there was such abundant hospitality that my heart was warmed and I was at ease, even though I was unfamiliar with their form of worship. Over the last year, one of our vestry priorities has been to increase the warmth of our welcome, both in worship and at coffee hour. We changed the name to "Coffee and Community" because that better describes the purpose of that Sunday hour; we want to extend hospitality to guests and among members who don't know each other as well. We've added tables and chairs where folks who want to can sit if that makes it easier for them. In worship, we have greeters at the door, but our hope is that we greet one another before and after and offer the care that welcomes one another as if we were welcoming Jesus. Watch Kendall's talk and think about Christ Church. How can each one of us be BOLD to extend generous hospitality to others?


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