Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. - Romans 15:7
At Ascension, we strive to be a welcoming place. We hope to extend the grace and love we find in Jesus to all who walk through our doors. "Welcome" is the ministry of hospitality, and Jesus modeled this by paying attention to those he encountered on a daily basis - a new way of seeing the other with love and compassion. Many have commented on the warm welcome they experience on Sunday mornings. Being intentional about this ministry requires a communal effort. I’ve offered some suggestions below to help us in our endeavors to keep our hearts and minds open to guests.
Wear a name tag! Our colorful name tags can help us all connect on a more personal level. Phrases like, “I’m not sure we’ve met” can also be helpful.
Invite someone new to sit with you. It can be helpful as they navigate when to sit or stand or which book to use.
Introduce yourself to guests and introduce guests to others. This often leads to conversations about how else they’d like to get involved with Ascension.
Encourage newcomers to complete a red Connect Card, found in the pew or at the Welcome Desk These allow the clergy and staff to follow up later in the week and keep us connected long-term.
Consider where you sit. Leaving seats at the back or near the aisle for newcomers or for those arriving late can be helpful to the whole congregation.
These are just a few ideas to help us welcome others into our church; I would love to hear additional suggestions from you. I am grateful for your efforts to extend practices of welcome and hospitality. May these practices continue to be received well into the future.