Welcoming has everything to do with how we make people feel. Are they comfortable—physically, psychologically and spiritually, from the appearance of the facility to the ease of finding the appropriate place; to being greeted and accepted yet not smothered; to feeling the joy and anticipation of the parish community and the experience of God’s love, compassion and grace; to a Joining a Mass and being able worship in a way that expresses who they are; to a sense of opportunities for personal and spiritual growth? Recall a time when you were the stranger, what made you feel cared for, accepted and loved? Recalling those situations each time you meet someone new will make you more sensitive to their experience.
Welcoming starts with being attuned to the needs and hopes of people. When someone new walks through the doors of St. Edward, the first question is cultural: “Is there anyone here like me?” Our answer should be, Yes, we have a very diverse community and everyone is very welcome.” The second question is more personal: “Is there anyone here who is interested in me?” Our answer better be "Yes, I am." If the answer is no because people are too busy or too wrapped up in what they are doing and the parish as a whole is not prepared to receive the person with hospitality, then the this person or persons will look elsewhere—or may not look again at all. First impressions are so important. We can be the most loving community once you belong, but if we do not reach out to those visiting us they will never know.
Some of you are Ushers, ministering in the church building, helping people find a pew, helping people with their donations, helping people to receive the Body and Blood of Christ in an orderly way, and helping people if an emergency arises. Some of you may be Ministers of Hospitality, welcoming those at the door, greeting and thanking people for joining us. Either way our goal here at St. Edward is make everyone feel at home and to know they are in a sacred place with the welcoming arms of Christ reaching out to them.
If you are interested in being a part of our Welcoming Ministry, please contact the Parish Office (951)549-6000 or by clicking the Visit & Contact us button above.
For our next Parish Meetings for this Ministry: