What does it mean to be WELCOMING?
It is June, which means it is pride month. The Pathways Committee presented the idea to the Vestry to paint our garth windows with a rainbow flag for the month with an "All Are Welcome" message. For the past few years we have had small lawn sized rainbow flags at the front of the church. More than one community member when asking where I served said "OH the one with the rainbow flags out front."
We are coming into the summer months when we have many visitors. Some church shopping. Others will be here because they are vacationing or visiting relatives in the area. My hope is that we can all work on our welcome. Wear your name tag. Introduce yourself to someone you don't know as well. Ask them what they liked about the service today. Tell them why you attend St. Cross. There is always a balance between latching on to newcomers and a lukewarm welcome. I think we usually do well striking a balance for a warm welcome that isn't overwhelming. The Welcome is a very important part of why someone does or does not return to church a second time.
So this Sunday, or the next, as you sit in church, pray about how you can be welcoming to those who come, those who are looking for God's love, those who we think are just like us, and those who we think are different. How can we welcome all of God's beloveds who enter our doors?