Do you remember the first time you came to this church? Take a moment and think of why you came and your first impressions... Now, consider what was it about the church that made you want to come back? Jot down a few more things....
Chances are it was more than one thing. People come for different reasons - to find community, to explore spiritual questions, to get support during life transitions and tragedies, to build a better world, to find a moral grounding for their children. Whatever the reasons that people come, people stay because they find a home here - a place where they belong and are welcome; a place that misses them when they are gone. What were the reasons you decided to stay? Was it the philosophy and/or the people you met? Chances are that people are looking for the same things you were.
How can each of us on Sunday morning help people find that place of belonging? It begins when each of us recognizes that we are hosts on Sunday morning, no longer guests or visitors. And what do hosts do? They go out of their way to make people feel welcome! They save the best for their guests - seating, parking, food. They put on their best clothes and take out their best china; they clean their home. They make sure conversations flow and people are not left alone or lonely. They make people feel not only special, but that they are welcome in their home and the phrase "mi casa es su casa" is lived out in a million different ways.
Take a moment to look around you on Sunday morning... how might we find ways we can welcome people here, invite them into the life of our beloved community? This community is so awesome, that everyone who comes through our doors should feel that awesomeness and be a part of it! We rock and I want everyone in Orange County to know it!
See you in Church!