Friday, February 22, 2013

Yesterday I had an important meeting with the Hospitality Team.  Ms. Meredith Pilling and Mr. Jeffri Harre reflected on the challenges facing their ministry in this place.  It was a helpful and important conversation.

Hospitality is a Christian obligation.  It is the single greatest factor in church growth.  Learning how to receive the guest graciously is an important aspect of formation.  (Now if you are guest please pass over the rest of this paragraph.)  Guests are often inconvenient; they disrupt our routines; they require our attention; and they can make life difficult.  And we need to learn how to live with the challenge of large numbers of guests.

The challenge of being our hospitality team is that Meredith and Jeffri are often 'in-between'.  They are in between the guests who want everything and the community who would rather things were more simple.  We will need to create systems that ensure that we receive our guests appropriately.  And most important of all, we need to support Meredith and Jeffri; we need to trust their judgment; and we need to help them in their important ministry.

Today let us say thank you to Meredith and Jeffri.  And everyone who reads the commentary (especially those standing at the screen in the Welcome Center) can turn right now and say to Meredith 'Thank You'.  I want you to let Meredith and Jeffri know that the work they are doing is important and tricky.

The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President