Hospitable: given to generous and cordial reception of guests; offering a pleasant or sustaining environment (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)
Christian hospitality is highly valued and given great emphasis under the Rule of St. Benedict. Of course, in Benedict’s day (mid 6th cen.) there was no Motel 6 for the wayfarer or CHOMP for the ill. The monasteries filled both of those functions. Nevertheless, I am sure, in spite of their best intentions, the monks often felt irritation at being awakened atmidnight, or pulled away from reading the latest best-seller.
But, “All guests are to be welcomed as Christ.” Says Benedict in his Rule. We too, need to remember that admonition if we are to revitalize our parish. There are many ways we can be more hospitable. I know there are many people whom I yet do not know. I need to pay more attention to who has been to church on more than one occasion. Candace DiLello is currently forming a welcoming committee. At the 10:30 service she is endeavoring to make visitors welcome. Please consider joining her in those efforts.
We have a young couple who has been attending All Saints’ for a while now who are getting married on Saturday: Matthew Cornachio and Chelsea Brewster. Be sure and congratulate them the next time you see them.
We have an increasing number of elderly parishioners who are unable to attend services anymore, but they still want to be included in the Eucharist. We need more Lay Eucharistic Ministers to carry the consecrated elements to them. Training will be arranged if you are willing to take on this ministry. You do not need to go alone, and there is no rule about how often.
We have a number of families who are attending All Saints’ during the summer while they escape the heat of Texas. They are not here all year round, yet when here, they are part of our congregation. Let’s make them feel welcome and a part of things.
Come to the Parish Picnic on September 19th at our campground on the Big Sur River. What a delightful place for us all to get to know each other better.
So, this week, the watchword is Hospitality. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
See you on Sunday! Oh! And remember to wear your name tag; it really helps some of us!
Claudia Ward, Senior Warden
All Saints’ Episcopal Church