A Truly Hospitable Church

The word hospitality probably conjures up images of entertaining – special occasions, doing everything really nicely and NOT CHEAP! Or it takes you to a ‘hospitality tent’ at a Show or Wimbledon or Lord’s – corporate and exclusive. Neither of those are what Christians mean by the word.

Here is how Christine Pohl puts it (Making Room p 172.) Hospitality is not so much a task as a way of living our lives and of sharing ourselves. People who are attempting to be faithful to God have opened their lives to situations where they could encounter strangers. Gradually, hospitality has become for them both a disposition and habit.

The PCC has identified that the word hospitality best describes us. I could not imagine anything more exciting to lie at the heart of St John’s. Even better, it is the story of the two disciples meeting the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus which we feel captures best what our hospitality would aspire to be (Luke 24.13-35.) It’s practical, it’s spiritual, and it’s something we already know a bit about but we also recognize there’s lots more to be discovered.

As I explained on Sunday, we now want wide participation, by all of St John’s, in this process. To explore how our hospitality vision could develop, we will form into groups who will use Christine Pohl’s excellent book (which has a study guide) to stimulate discussion. At the end of July, we will ask all the groups to tell us what they have come up with – and the PCC will take things on from there.

Will you join a group? Or would you like to offer to host one in your home? Or would you like to gather a group together? Please either reply to this email or sign up on the sheet one table at the back of church.

Tom Gillum