July 6, 2010

A Church Family Reunion

Recently I attended our son-in-law's ordination service in another conference. Needless to say, I really didn't know any one there. And I couldn't help but think it was like attending someone else's family reunion. But I assumed it was pretty much like our conference with long-standing friendships, intrigues, dysfunction, and all.

For about one third of our pastors, this past Sunday was the first for them and their families. And I wondered, what kind of welcome they received. Then, as usual, when I point a finger, the other three fingers point back to me. How welcoming have I been?

This year we have a new DS and a returning bishop with their families. So please join me and welcome your DS and bishop's spouses. Take a moment and sent a card, note, or email. As hard as it can be to walk into a new church, it must be more difficult to walk into a new conference and district. If we welcome each other, perhaps we all will more fully experience the benefits of being a church family.



  1. I heard somewhere recently about a pastor who asked a non-churchgoing friend why she didn't go. She said "it's like going to someone else's family reunion. why would I go?"

    Something to think about when we celebrate the "family atmosphere" or "close-knit" nature of our congregations. Those things aren't so good if you're new to the congregation or visiting for the first time.

  2. Good point, Jessica. Being too "folksy" can seem clique-ish instead of being sincere or being respectful enough to allow newcomers to worship without forcing our habits onto them. I think a worship service should have a certain amount of solemnity and restfulness so we can listen to God and replenish the soul. Fellowship is a part of Christian living, but my personal belief is that worship and fellowship are not one and the same. Comments from others???