This Could Be Really Good
An exciting change is coming to St. Stephen’s! On Easter Sunday three Christian congregations will be in our building celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. I find this exciting for these three reasons, starting with the least important.
This will provide us with extra income. We have a large building which needs maintenance, and we are a small congregation. And while taking care of the building should never be our chief purpose, we are stewards of this space. Rightly understood, a church building is a tool for ministry. Which leads me to . . .
By hosting these two other Christian congregations, we will be using this tool which has been bequeathed to us for practicing radical hospitality. There will be a sign out front with all three of our names, making a public witness. (Right now, our sign faces the wrong way, perhaps because Broom St. used to be a two-way street. But I digress.) By practicing this hospitality, we will be providing attractive space for these congregations to reach people we are not reaching. Good for the Kingdom!
And this is the most important one. Let me start by saying that I once remarked to my spiritual director that relationships are what make life worth living. She replied, “Relationships are all there is to living.” She’s right. We are who we are only in relationships with God and each other.
My hope is that we will, person by person, develop human to human relationships with those who are with us on Sunday mornings. My hope is that we will be asking each other about our children and grandchildren, how the week went, if we’re feeling better, and all the other stuff people talk about with each other. If we do that, relationships will develop. And relationships lead to ministry. And relationships with people who have had very different life experiences than we have will change us in good ways.
So, on East Sunday morning come ready to celebrate the resurrection. Come ready to practice hospitality. And bring your appetite because we are going to have a continuous continental breakfast.