• Going Deeper: Growing in Faith and Knowledge

Welcome Starts Outside Our Doors

Adam Dawkins
August 2, 2018

Welcome Starts Outside Our Doors

 

One of the most significant challenges in our life as a church has to do with reaching out to those who have no spiritual home. As a native Southerner, I come from a part of the country where the majority of people are active in a faith community. Some would say that the culture down south lends itself to talking more openly about faith and church, and that inviting someone to come to church perhaps feels a little more natural than it does for many of us here in New England. I daresay that evangelism isn’t easy for some of us to think about, and for others, it’s a concept that conjures up uncomfortable images.

 

Jesus’ call to “go, make disciples” (Matthew 29:19) compels us to make Trinity a welcoming community in a deep, human, relational sense. That means going beyond our doors, to connect with people where they are.  If we are going to be effective, we have to think about how to tell our own stories of faith and Trinity. How do we share our Trinity joy in a way that invites others to share in it? How do we talk about God’s boundless love with those who are curious to know what that means?

 

More often than not, our stories begin in listening. Our listening says to the other person that their story is of great importance, and that we recognize their equal dignity. It also gives us an opportunity to discern where to help connect their story with the larger story of God’s love known in Jesus Christ. 

 

By being curious about another person’s story, we are able to welcome them in new and profound ways. And by doing so, we invite a new sense of belonging to each other, to our faith community, and to God.

 

Down South, some jokingly refer to Episcopalians as “the frozen chosen”. I certainly don’t think of us that way. It’s probably fair to say that each of us belongs to Trinity because something about our parish has inspired us in a unique way. I invite you to share that with your friends. Tell them your Trinity story. Ask them about their own story. Be curious. Hear that person’s story with grace.  You might discover an opening to extend an invitation to come and see Trinity Church, as we become the welcoming community we are meant to be."

 

See you in church,

Adam Dawkins

Director of Welcome & Stewardship

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