I’m glad we made the decision to postpone Dr. Amy Oden’s visit as guest preacher and lecturer to April 6. Her trip from OKC would have been unsafe, and most likely we’d have had a small turnout to hear what she had to say—and what she plans to share with us is important! As it is, her sermon on hospitality will fit quite nicely into the things already planned for early April. Bruce and Sheila are available to carry on with their planned menu of Brined smoked turkey as the entree for the lunch and lecture.
Amy’s theme, hospitality, will correspond very well with the time of year–Holy Week will be 7 days away, and we anticipate having many guests with us for special services at the Palm/Passion Sunday, Living Last Supper, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday services. What a good time to be reminded about being intentionally welcoming.
The previous Saturday (April 5) we plan to have a presence at the K-Dub (Kendall-Whittier) food truck festival offering the open table of communion to all comers–being hospitable with our sacrament–as an intended celebration of “J-Dub’s” journal entry from April 2, 1739 (the 275th anniversary): “At four in the afternoon, I submitted to be more vile and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation.” We’ll be doing the same.
I had been in touch with Saletha about a worship focus for Lent incorporating the 5 senses, (actually 6, including intuition) and on this Sunday (April 6) had planned “taste” with fresh baking bread in the narthex greeting people as they entered the sanctuary. What is more hospitable than the smell of baking bread?
On the Friday previous, (April 4) I had planned to be meeting with the Confirmands (and others who were interested) during the afternoon on this “early release Friday” on a “Roots of Methodism Church tour.” We’ll be experiencing hospitality from our neighbors in faith as well.
In the meantime, we can practice hospitality by giving a nice welcome to our incoming director of youth ministries, Danny McBee and our new custodian Greg Willis. There’s a short introductory bio of Danny included in this newsletter. After worship this coming Sunday, come to the parlor for a short reception. Perhaps we’ll have some Girl Scout Cookies and punch since it will also be Girl Scout Sunday! And, this coming Saturday, March 8, at 5pm, the youth will be treating Jessica and Daniel to a “thanks for the memories” dinner.
In short, as I mentioned last week, there are 101 ways to put the art of hospitality into practice. As United Methodists, it is our heritage to seek out the very practical ways to enact our ideals instead of simply postulating them. Hospitality is an ideal of our faith—it was originally planned to be the capstone of our “Beginning with Basics” series—and it should be a constant focus.