Where’s “mercy” in how we welcome folks to the parish? Christ’s love extends to each of us, and his saving grace is deep and generous. How do we share it? What’s the importance of community? Why be with others? Does a genuine and gracious welcome make a difference?……….Every weekend, a sizable number of folks are tentatively returning to celebrate Mass with us. They often come with a heavy heart, stress or confusion about what is happening in their life. Others are unsatisfied with the endless grind of daily life and are looking for a deeper meaning. Some of those among us are just going through the motions – finding God and faith a distant concept but attending out of routine or guilt or perhaps as a spiritual insurance policy. There are a wide variety of motivations bringing so many people to this special place. How can we respond with love and compassion to so many needs?
A warm and genuine “hello” lets someone know they matter and we’re happy they’re here. A quick “good morning!” is all someone may need to feel belonging and joy. For others, it serves as a brief switch to move from the distractions of life to a time of peace and a higher purpose. But what if that “hello” became an invitation to conversation, a listening ear?
Our new Welcome Table in the atrium is our first step in purposely inviting people to move from a smile to a connection. Parish volunteers and print materials will be there as resources for our community to help begin relationships, answer questions, pray with people and respond to their needs. In the upcoming months, we will build a team of people with joy in their hearts, an outgoing nature, and a willingness to spend a short time before and after Mass once a month to be the face of our parish. Christ’s mercy certainly flows through each of us as we warmly embrace our visitors, seekers, and those with a question.
Stop by the table and introduce yourself – begin a conversation! Hopefully, you’ll meet someone new who can answer a question, make an introduction, or point you toward a resource in the parish or community.