Monday, July 11, 2011

Hospitality Opportunity Missed

I have served as one of your three UM representatives on the board of Alaska Children's Services for about ten years now. It is an amazing agency with 200 employees dedicated to the mission of helping troubled children and youth find healing and wholeness. We welcome Denis McCarville as our new CEO after Jim Maley's retirement.

Every July 9 which is Alaska Flag Day we host a party at our Jesse Lee campus. For 20 years the price for admission has been $5 for unlimited food, ice cream, party booths, and live music. At the end of the event I was talking with another board member and I was lamenting the fact that I did not invite several of my neighbors to the party. The family next door has two young kids and no church family. The couple across the street moved here from Japan and doesn't know many people. Why didn't I invite them?

You know where I am going. We do the same thing when it comes to inviting our neighbors to church. We don't think about it until afterwards. The good news is that we can change to a culture of invitation. We can remind one another Sunday after Sunday that it is our privilege and responsibility to invite others to the Lord's table. We can create an environment of radical hospitality in our churches so we are thinking more and more about who we can invite to church.

We can do better. I can do better. In fact right now I am going to write a note in my calendar next June to remind me to invite my neighbors to the ACS Flag Day party. Until then I hope to be a better neighbor and witness for Christ to them.

Grace Always,

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