Spirit Alive: What is Gracious Hospitality?
Spirit Alive is a weekly blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and beyond.
December 8, 2015
Signs of Life:
Alton L. Collins Retreat Center
The “sign of life” that I’d like to share this week isn’t from a local church, but instead from the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center. Many of you have visited this special place before, so you already know about the hospitality that is a part of what they do there. This week let's focus our attention on what "gracious hospitality" looks like and consider what the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center can teach the rest of us.
When you finish watching this video, consider these questions:
- What matters most to you when you are a guest somewhere?
- What does your congregation presently do to welcome others to your church?
- What else could be done to express hospitality?
Consider this: The Zulu people of South Africa have an expression of greeting that includes a word meaning "I see you." Imagine what a gift it is to let someone else know that they are seen, noticed, connected..even prayed for. As Robert Holden says of this Zulu greeting: "...To say 'I see you' offers an intention to release any preconceptions and judgments so that 'I can see you as God created you.' To hear 'I see you' is an affirmation that you do exist." A true act of hospitality begins with such a gift: the genuine recognition of others. I do see you!
Blessings on your journey,
Spirit Alive is a weekly blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. It seeks out where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities.