Lincoln’s Log 12-23-12
You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel.
Like Bethlehem at the time of the census, our community will have many guests joining us to celebrate Christmas. What a gift! It is an opportunity for us to live our mission to be a welcoming community.
Here are a few tips to help us be as welcoming as possible:
Arrive early. Take your coat off in the cloak room and be prepared to stay. There is no rush. Christmas Mass is the reason for the season so make yourself and others comfortable.
Make room for people to sit next to you. If you arrive early, choose seats near the middle of the pew so newcomers don’t have to crawl over you or ask you to move.
Introduce yourself to people sitting nearby. Be prepared to move outside of your comfort zone and meet someone new. Let them know a little about yourself and our community. There is plenty to be proud of. Be sure to invite them back for a weekend liturgy sometime.
Children are a part of our community. Welcome them with a smile. Parents who have not been to Mass for a while are often nervous and sensitive about their child’s behavior. Help to make them feel at ease and welcome. At Christmas kids don’t always show their best behavior. It is important for us to welcome them as Christ welcomed the children.
If someone looks lost, ask them if you can help. You can help direct them to the bathrooms or the cloakroom. They may also need help finding the songs or the responses in the songbooks or on the response card.
When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, there was no room for them in the inn. It was a failure of hospitality. Let’s be sure to welcome the guests in our midst as we celebrate the birth of the Messiah.
Lincoln A. Wood