One of the things that I love about summer worship at St. Andrew's is not being in such a hurry and having a little extra time to hang out in the narthex with folks from our faith community. Repeatedly, I have been inspired and blessed by those members who seem to be a constant source of welcome, affirmation, and encouragement for others. Even from a distance I can sense it in their words and posture and actions. Just from observations over these past few weeks, I pass along to you ways that we could all be powerful sources of hospitality, encouragement and grace for one another:
1. Smile at people when you greet them. Be at ease and let them feel your welcome.
2. Be generous with praise and cautious with criticism.
3. Be considerate of the feelings and opinions of others. We can respectfully disagree yet carry out our mission together.
4. Be alert to give your time and talents away in service. What we do with others and for others can be the means by which we are Christ to others and see Christ in others.
5. Write a note or send an e-mail of encouragement and support to someone who is hurting.
6. Believe in others. Look for the good in people. Accept and encourage their unique personalities and traits.
7. Lift up those who are struggling in body, mind, and spirit through the power and promise of prayer.
8. Give God's love away in your words and actions. See others as created in the image of God and look for ways that God is working in with and through them. Point that out even if it is hard for them to see or believe. This is powerful affirmation and Jesus has written hope in all of our hearts.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, as you practice embodying Christ's love more and more in church or in your home, challenge yourself to go and do likewise in your school or workplace or community that, together, we would make Christ known. See you in church!