Hospitality – what comes to mind with that word? Some people might think of an invitation into someone’s cozy home for a meal and great conversation, or simply the feeling of being ‘seen’ and ‘welcomed’. I would agree with these images and would add that Hospitality begins with a smile.
This past Sunday I was incredibly thankful to learn of a story of true Hospitality and its lasting effect on a lovely new family to SPC. As I was roaming through Sanctuary Hall after service, I noticed a woman and her adorable daughter standing at a bistro table together. As I smiled and said ‘Good Morning’ to both of them, the mother looked as if she had a question. I introduced myself, and started to chat with the two of them and quickly learned that they were ‘church shopping’ and were drawn to SPC that morning. As the story unfolded, I learned that this lovely woman had been invited to the Women’s Ministry Open House in October by a friend of SPC. The impression left by that night of fellowship, conversation, smiles and laughter from the Women’s Ministry team on this lovely woman moved her to look further into SPC, and attend Sunday’s service with her family.
As we continued our conversation, we determined we had several things in common, specifically history of being raised in the Catholic Church. Within five minutes we had made solid connections – a connection of our past church history, a connection over similar acquaintances, and a connection over the feeling of being seen and welcomed by the Women’s Ministry team. We concluded our conversation with her asking about getting her daughter registered for our Sunday children’s program, and giving her information about our upcoming Advent activities. It was in that moment that I felt the lasting effects of the authentic hospitality shown by our Women’s Ministry Team.
My new friend and potential new SPC member was all smiles by the end of our chat. I am so thankful that we have a warm, welcoming Women’s Ministry team who creates events and opportunities for people to be seen and welcomed. Women’s Ministry was my new friend’s reason to smile, which led her to SPC’s Sunday service. What a glorious and lasting effect of that night of Hospitality.