A few years ago, a group of clergy spouse friends who live within a twenty mile radius of each other decided to form a book group. We meet monthly for dinner and discussion--our August meeting was earlier this week.
One spouse, whose husband received a new appointment in July said to me, 'I've had something happen to me at this new church that I've never experienced."
I was really curious and replied, "What happened?"
She replied, "Every Sunday someone in the church (about 900 in the congregation) comes and sits with me. I like that gesture so much."
I remember a few anxieties during those first few Sundays in a new church. One was that I would sit in 'someone's pew' (we know how people are about 'their pew'). Another was sitting by myself. Gradually, as I got to know people, I sat with someone, however, I never had anyone come, and ask to join me.
My friend appreciated this simple gesture which conveyed welcome, hospitality, and great kindness.
What other ways have churches conveyed welcome and hospitality during those early months of a new appointment?