Newton Cowan, Transitional Director of Pastoral Care

This past week in the Discipleship Committee meeting, there was an incredible amount of energy about this new church year especially around being more warm and welcoming to everyone.

More, you might say? Prior to COVID you all were very welcoming and engaged members and visitors alike. Then came no worship in person, then sitting every other pew and being spaced out, not to mention the masks. At times we could feel isolated even in the sanctuary wondering who was behind the mask and was it OK to say hello to someone much less offer a hug or a handshake.

While COVID is not totally behind us, we are getting closer. More folks feel comfortable not wearing a mask, sitting closer together. It’s time for us to be more open to greeting everyone. I know many of you have been doing this, thank you. This e-news is pointed at myself and maybe to some of you all. You would be amazed how many times I hear our members say, “Well, I wanted to say hello, but what if they are a long-time member?  I might be embarrassed.”

Folks, it’s time for us to embarrass ourselves.

If you, a long-time member, are approached by someone not knowing how long you have been here, be gracious and welcoming back. To those who are holding back, please don’t.

Each and every Sunday members are coming back, each and every Sunday visitors are coming some for the first time, some repeat. Let us all, all (I am looking in the mirror) greet each and every person. A simple acknowledgment, a hello, good morning, or — I know this sounds radical — say your first name …

As we emerge from, hopefully, the worst of COVID, let us reawake that warm and welcoming greeting that may have gone dormant. The work of discipleship is for all of us. Please, please take the time every time you are on the campus, regardless of the day, to greet others. You know what if feels like to be seen and acknowledged. It feels great.

Jesus would seek and see all people. We as his disciples are called to do the same.