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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, November 5, 2012


So, I am thinking this morning about how we invite friends and neighbours to various events at church.  Specifically, this pondering is about the way we describe the event in which we would like people to participate.  Here is why.

Last (Sunday) evening, I spent a lovely couple of hours with some friends from the Hamilton congregation.  There were six people present besides me plus two young folks, perhaps too old to be called children, in an adjoining room.  The evening got a lot more interesting when one of the participants came in carrying three pies she had baked.  Now I need to confess that I never met a pie I didn't like, so I am probably biased, but to paraphrase  Renée Zellweger's famous comment in the movie Jerry Maguire, she had me at hello!

The evening was planned to help congregation members and leaders learn more about hospitality, and how to be a welcoming church.  We talked for about ninety minutes, discussing several aspects of the subject.  The conversation included a lot of good-natured joking around, and then the leader closed with prayer.  It was time for pie.

The choices  included a lovely looking raspberry pie with real whipped cream, a delicious banana cream pie, and a coconut cream pie that was simply to die for.  Mmmmm!  The two young folks joined us and together we had a great time eating more pie than was probably good for us.  It was so delicious!  What a great evening.  Too bad there weren't more people present.  And that brings me to the point of this blog.

How would you invite folks to such an event?  Would you say,
"We're having a meeting to talk about how to become a more welcoming church; would you like to come?"  (This might be called the boring, business like approach; probably not too interesting and perhaps even scary for unchurched friends.)

Or would you say,
"Some folks are coming to our pastor's house to talk about how we can make the church more welcoming, and I'd really like to hear your thoughts on the subject.  Will you come?"  (Better, but probably still pretty scary for non-members.)
 Or how about something like (to anyone and everyone),
"I'm getting together with some friends from church to visit about how we can make church better.  They are fun people and I'd really like you to meet them.  The highlight of the evening will be that we get to sample some of Mary's wonderful pies.  Come with me.  Its going to be a fun evening, you'll meet some new people, and I promise the pie will be delicious!" 
Now, I am not trying to be critical and I am trusting that my dear friends in Hamilton know me well enough to realize that.  I really don't know how the word went out about this event, but I can guess.  If they were like most congregations, it was probably in the bulletin or up on the screen during the announcement time.  That's okay, but I'm guessing we could have easily doubled or tripled the number of people present if we had also used the more personal and interesting approach above.  Why not invite friends or neighbours to such a gathering?  Wouldn't their input be wonderful and helpful?  They would certainly enjoy themselves, and probably they would also have been blessed by Brother Kerry's touching prayer.

If you would like to know more about what the Hamilton folks are thinking about these days, check out their website at

What are your ideas about how to invite folks to participate in fun events at church?

Okay, enough of this, I wonder if there is any of that pie left that Mary sent home for Joan. 

Posted by Carman


  1. I'm imagining what even greater ideas might have happened if the pie had been cut and served right at the beginning :-)

    Sounds great! Looking forward to seeing the Hamilton folks in a couple of weeks.

  2. I'm sure you will have a good time, Marion. Who knows what (or who) may be served. :)


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