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Rev. Laurie Garramone
Date: June 17, 2018
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Rector's Letter, September 2012

Entertaining Angels


Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.  Hebrews 13: 2


One of the hallmarks of Jesus’ ministry was his invitation to all people. We know that he ate dinner with sinners and tax collectors, that he both healed and spent time with women who were considered unclean, and that he loved children.


However, he was often a stranger himself who had to depend on the welcome and hospitality of other people in order to eat and rest. In fact, in the book of Luke, chapter 10,  Jesus sent out seventy-two disciples on their first mission trip and he told them to bring nothing with them, and to eat only what would be given them by their hosts.  Later in the 22nd chapter of Luke, Jesus reminds them of this experience:

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered.

 In other words, Jesus trusts that people will welcome and care for each other, and he wanted his disciples to clearly understand this.


We are asked to welcome and care for each other the same way. In that spirit, St. John’s will celebrate Back to Church Sunday on Sunday, September 16th

at both the 8 and 10 am services. We will welcome everyone—people we often see in church, people we sometimes see in church, and hopefully, people we have never seen in church. We will see friends, relatives and neighbors to our services because someone invited them. And while we certainly pray that they love St. John’s and want to keep coming to our church, the overarching reason we do this is to help people meet Jesus, and to begin a new relationship or jumpstart a stagnant relationship with Him. We are doing what Jesus would do—inviting people to the table of the Lord.


Simple ways to be like Jesus:


  1. Invite a friend or family member to church on Sunday, September 16th.   62% of people who are asked to attend church by someone they know will say ‘yes’. Hand them one of the invitation postcards found in the bulletin for the 2 weeks prior to the event.


  1. Focus on families—we are also doing our Sunday School kick-off and the service will be followed by an ice cream social for everyone.


  1. Come to church. People often take time off during the summer, and this is a great time to re-establish your connection to St. John’s. Our family isn’t complete without you!


  1. Talk to someone you don’t know in church. Help them navigate the BCP or hymnal. Invite them to receive communion and walk up with them. Introduce yourself at the Ice Cream Social and start a conversation. In short, make strangers feel like members of the family.


The word ‘angel’ has its roots in the word ‘messenger’. While we may be called to entertain angels, we may also be called to be angels--messengers—for those people who have not yet met God. Back to Church Sunday is a great opportunity to do exactly that.


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