“So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!” Romans 15:7 (the Message)
Last Saturday, 75 WELCA leaders from all over the Southwest Minnesota Synod gathered at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls, MN for our annual Leadership Training Event. This event is held every September for our leaders to get information on the different officer roles as well as set agendas for the upcoming year.
This year, our agenda is centered on the theme “Reach Out and Welcome.” We are called, as Christians, to always strive to welcome all from our neighbor to the stranger. We are called to welcome them in our church, our towns and our hearts.
What does that look like? Well, our guest speaker, Pastor Jon Nelson of Ebenezer and Tripolis Lutheran Churches, said it might look something like this: It means desiring relationships with the other. It means being open to being changed by the other. It means listening, really listening. It means stepping outside of our comfort zones. It means learning new languages (perhaps farmer, teacher, doctor, nurses, etc.). It means admitting we are uncomfortable when we are not comfortable. It means sacrificing of ourselves. It means keeping the 8th Commandment (to always assume the best of people’s’ intentions). It means letting go of competing. Being welcoming is our calling!