Pope Francis in the Joy of the Gospel reminds us to be joyful, love one another and be about the business of sharing God’s love. Hospitality is at the core of the Gospel and what we are known for at Sacred Heart. Each of us share in the responsibility of making visitors feel at home.
Here are some ways to ensure everyone feels included in the Sacred Heart family:
- Treat unfamiliar guests as children of God and not strangers.
- If someone sits near you that you don’t know, look them in the eye, smile and introduce yourself. Not sure how to start that conversation? Here are some suggestions:
- If you are not sure the person is a member or a visitor, “I don’t think we’ve met before…”
- Smile and say, “Hello, my name is …”
- If they have children with them, greet their children as well.
- Take the initiative, rather than waiting for visitors to initiate a conversation with you.
- On those special occasions when the church is filled and it’s standing room only, offer your seat to someone else.
- Love children as children (playing, singing, crying). The way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to church, to God and to Jesus. We want them to feel at home in this liturgical gathering.
- If it is Coffee and Donuts Sunday, invite visitors to join you for coffee and conversation.
- Invite a friend who doesn’t have a church to come and see yours. A personal invitation is great! Come with them and show them around to make them feel comfortable. Use your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. accounts to invite your friends to Mass or special events at Sacred Heart.
- Let people know you are glad they are here.
- Pray for them throughout the week.