Monday nights are usually a madhouse at Southminster. Tuesdays and Thursdays can be too. Saturday is filled with people utilizing our church. If you are only here on Sunday, you might miss how busy and active we are seven days a week. For example, six different groups were using the building last Monday, including the Session Meeting. The Boy Scouts held a Court of Honor Ceremony for an Eagle Scout, which meant they used the sanctuary and the dining hall for a celebratory reception. We had meetings and support groups spread throughout the building all night. People were here until 9:30pm that day and that was an early evening compared to others.
One of the things I celebrate about Southminster is our sense of welcome. We do this on Sunday morning. You all are great at warmly greeting one another and new faces. You notice when people have been gone. You perk up when there is somebody new. The Passing of the Peace goes on forever because we are so invested in making each individual feel like they are valued and welcomed here. We also live into it throughout the week. It is part of the culture around here. Southminster opens up its doors to a plethora of support groups and outside organizations. Life Senior Services brings a wide variety of activities and participants to our doors. The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts meet here. The Brookside Neighborhood Association gathers here. I suggest Southminster to host events for the presbytery and church organizations as often as I can, because I know we will do a great job and make people feel at home. In fact, we are hosting the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery meeting in a few weeks. Even if it is just putting out coffee and cookies for a group, we do our best to care for others.
Being welcoming is more than just being good hosts. It is a biblical value. It is a way of proclaiming the good news. In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus says, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
Continue to welcome in Christ’s name.