Welcoming in the Stranger

Guest SpeakerCliffNotes, Frontpage News

Today’s guest post is by Karen Friesen, leader of our Welcome Team.

“Welcome is one of the signs that a community is alive. To invite others to live with us is a sign that we aren’t afraid, that we have a treasure of truth and of peace to share.”
Jean Vanier, Community and Growth

Isn’t that so true of Christ Church?! We have such an ALIVE community! I have personally experienced the healing of being welcomed in to this special place these past 10 years, and I’m always so encouraged when I meet someone else who is finding their home amongst us. We have a treasure that is life-giving to the world around us.

I remember during the design process for the Medina property that one of the visions of our church was that it would be a beacon of light to the city of Austin – welcoming in people from all over the city as we move to a location that so perfectly straddles East and West, North and South. We know that our new building will be lovely, but that’s not where the beauty and life of our church lies – it resides in YOU. You embody Christ’s heart for hospitality – as you welcome in the stranger!

You may have seen this piece of art by Jim Janknegt. It’s a visual representation of Matthew 13:31-32. Jesus says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field…when it is full grown, it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” I am inspired by how Cliff talks about Christ Church being the kind of place represented by this picture: where all the different birds find a home.

Would you consider participating in our church’s hospitality this year by joining our Welcome Team? I’m excited that volunteers will be serving with some great team leaders: Art Schneider, Jonathan Spies, Katherine Hill, and Frank Berlanga. Matt Dampier spoke this last Sunday about our church’s core value of community, and he put it simply that there are two ways to build deeper community: “clock in time” and “serve together”. The Welcome Team is a beautiful way to build community in your own life while you serve the whole church and help welcome the stranger into our midst. Come serve individually or together with your friends, family, or small group. We particularly need more volunteers at the 11am service. Let me know if you’re interested by emailing me at knfriesen@gmail.com. I’d love to tell you more about the many ways you can get involved!

Yours in Christ,
Karen