A Welcome 'Home' CAUCE REFLECTS September 2018
By Tracy Fouke Bausum, Commissioned Minister of Discipleship Education and CAUCE Coordinating Committee Member
When I think of the most joyous welcomes two images come to mind immediately. The first is from the epilogue portion of the movie “Love Actually.” The scene is Heathrow Airport and people are reuniting with loved ones ~ relatives, old friends, new acquaintances, all ages and all backgrounds. They are hugging, kissing, shaking hands ~ joyful in loving and being loved. There is a deep sense of connectedness. The second image is from Vacation Bible School. By the second and third days, the kids come bursting through the front door of the church smiling, singing and greeting us with hugs, high fives, and jubilant energy. They feel that sense of belonging and being loved.
Our church, like many others, celebrates 'Homecoming Sunday' the week after Labor Day each year. It includes a special worship service, a picnic, and activities for children. The idea is to welcome back our church family after a summer hiatus due to schedules, activities, vacations, etc. Every year, I set a goal to create an extravagant welcome, one that rivals the above images. The last few years, I find myself feeling challenged by the reality. Families seem to trickle in a little later each year. Schedules get busier and priorities shift. We are blessed with families returning and visiting almost every Sunday through January.
The new goal is to create an open welcome home. Every Sunday becomes an opportunity to offer a greeting that expresses joy and the idea that you belong here. Each of us, every person in our church, becomes responsible for sharing in the extravagant hospitality. May we all be ready each Sunday with a high five or a hug ~ may each of us be part of the glorious 'homecoming'.
For welcoming ideas to try and share!:
How to Welcome Visitors to Your Children’s Ministry
20 Ways to Welcome People to Church