By Kathy Krasnoff, Fellowship Chair
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
Many times when you are hearing complaints about churches you often hear “That is such an unfriendly church, why no one even said “Hi” when I visited.”
Many of the unchurched feel fear when they visit a service in an unfamiliar church, especially an Episcopal service where there is standing and sitting, bowing and crossing, praying, and, oh my, communion! No wonder some feel that ours is a strange service!
That is certainly NOT true at St. Peter’s. I was talking with one lady who was looking for a Spanish-speaking church where she would feel comfortable. She had marked us off the list but because we were close by, decided to come one Sunday. The warmth and acceptance she felt before and after she walked through the doors of our sanctuary made her know that she had found her home church. This is not unusual here at St. Peter’s. It is a story I am hearing repeatedly.
I encourage us to continue to be aware of visitors, especially visitors who may not be familiar with our service format.
- Help them to feel welcome by meeting their needs…..If they need a hymnal, get them one; if they are lost in the service, show them where we are in the bulletin; if they look lost, at the very least, give them an encouraging smile.
- Introduce yourselves to those you don’t know—members and visitors alike. I understand that we are told five times in the New Testament to greet one another and show affection. Make a point of introducing yourself to each visitor.
- Set a goal of learning the name of at least one person each service.
We are a friendly and welcoming church now…..Can you imagine how incredible we would be if everyone in our congregation followed these simple suggestions?
Remember every church member was at one time a visitor. Do you have friends, neighbors, or family who do not have a church family? If so, think about bringing them to a service at St. Peter’s. We promise to make them feel welcome!