You can see these words of welcome on the many Episcopal church signs throughout the country. I think it’s fine to have it on the sign, but what happens once a visitor steps through the doors of the church? Who greets the newcomer? Sure, we have Hosts whose duty it is to welcome people and answer questions, but isn’t it the responsibility of all of us to welcome the newcomer—or to speak to someone new? Perhaps the “new” person you see is not a newcomer at all, just someone who hasn’t been attending in quite a while and has ventured back, with maybe a little bit of trepidation. Will anyone know me? What has changed since I was here last? Is it the same place it was when I attended a few years ago?
To be a newcomer can be an intimidating process, and it is the responsibility of all of us to welcome newcomers and to assist them in finding their way—through the service, to coffee hour, and to church activities.
The Congregational Development Team is sponsoring a Newcomers’ luncheon on Sunday, June 7 after the 10:45 am service. If you are new among us – having recently joined the church or if you are just now starting to attend—please plan on attending the Newcomers Luncheon and give us an opportunity to welcome you with a simple lunch and a few introductions to some folks who can assist you in answering questions about our life here at St. Peter’s.
If you are a member and have met a newcomer to the church, please consider inviting that person to join you in attending the Newcomers’ Luncheon—it may make that person feel more comfortable to have a “buddy” to join. And if you have attended a luncheon in the past, please come and help us in welcoming others to the church. Please RSVP to email@example.com if you can attend this luncheon. Hope to see you there!
–Mary Virginia Woodall, Director of Ministry Development