Rev. Joshua Patty
Regional Minister and President
September's coming. Below are some resources that may inspire and encourage your work. Blessings as you prepare worship services that invite people to honor God's presence and love in our midst in ways that offers healing, forgiveness, hope, transformation, and so much more.
Invitations May Mean More This Year
Many congregations have "kickoff" or "homecoming" Sundays after Labor Day. Often it is a day to begin fall programs. Historically, it has been a way to encourage people to participate in worship regularly.
A recent essay suggested personal invitations may be the nudge some people need to resume regular worship participation after the past two years. Might it be something for your congregation to try?
Hospitality and Stewardship
Another recent essay connects important lessons between welcoming guests and inviting new people to give financially. (Stewardship season is coming in many congregations too.) I think that this author's personal experience visiting a church is helpful -- if a bit painful to read. It's also a reminder that when we want to invite people to do new or unfamiliar things, we should imagine the experience from their perspective.
Is Your Space Accessible and Welcoming?
Historically, most church buildings have presumed certain abilities on the people who will enter them. Our awareness is slowly increasing on ways to truly make our accessible and welcoming to all. If you want some ideas, check out this recent article from Religion News Service, part of a series called Disability and Faith.