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Posts Tagged ‘welcome’

There’s something about the way Rindy welcomes all of us at the Gathering that makes me feel like she means it. That’s no small thing! We can theorize about the way divine Love operates in human experience, but when it actually happens in a few brief moments at the beginning of the Gathering, it’s worth noting.

Embraced by the welcome

First, there’s the smile. I notice it because it speaks more than words will ever do. Before Rindy uttered a word, her face embraced us, and I wanted her to feel the smile I sent

Barb, Bob, and George returning the welcome with smiles

back. Then immediately there was a quick acknowledgement that we were there to be part of the experience we’d be sharing together. It means we all belong there, whether the person next to us knows us or not. Rindy often reminds us that we’re each welcome

BonnieSue and Lorrie: smiles are contagious

just as we are – without having to prove anything or accomplish anything or look a certain way.  Our thoughts and experiences are valuable.

I also noted she mentioned our listening is just as welcome as our thoughts. What a kind way to encourage us to care about others, without cramming it down our throats. As we got into our discussion groups, the smiles and joy kept bringing us closer to each other. Bear in mind, several new people were there, so nobody knows everybody. But the expectancy that all of us are welcome helps us find our comfort level in the conversation. (more…)

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We’re going to wrestle with a challenging question at the Gathering on Sunday (July 25): What kind of struggle would we face in our own hearts to warmly welcome someone whose life is very different from our own? It’s true that most of the people coming to these Gatherings have come from a rather mono-cultural background. And yet, to live up to the Fellowship’s goal to be radically welcoming of everyone, we need to think seriously about what it means to welcome someone who’s more comfortable in a very different culture from our own. (more…)

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We’ve been wondering what it would be like to really, truly, honestly welcome anyone to come to join us in worship. It’s one thing to smile and invite someone in. But we’re thinking about whether our open door still says in some fashion, “You can come in, so long as you plan to be just like us when you leave!” What if the welcome mat said, “There’s something about you that we need. Please share it!” (more…)

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