But why bother? We are already doing this!
The first year of the project is about WELCOME. You could perhaps justifiably say that you parish is already very welcoming, and there’s nothing more you can do. But even in these circumstances, it is worth giving it a bit of thought. The ‘Everybody’s Welcome’ project seeks to build on what you are already doing, and enable you to think more deeply, more broadly, about what welcome means – and we soon realise, Yes, we can always go further! If our faith gives us meaning and purpose in life, and helps us through all the ups and downs, this will show – and others will see in us something they would like. Perhaps they might even come along to Church – what will they find? What might they need? What might their hopes be? And what can we do to support them? And those who come regularly – do they feel they ‘belong’?
It’s not ‘news’ that each Catholic parish has been given the mission to evangelise – to tell others by word and action the Good News of our relationship with God and the difference faith makes. It starts with God’s ‘welcome’ of us! God loves us, and calls us to share that love with all! Can we reach out offer others what we have, and help them to know the person of Christ? They will meet Christ through our welcome, and more importantly, we will meet Christ in them.
When did we see you Lord? When you welcomed the least, you welcomed me… We all need to feel accepted, and eventually, to find ourselves ‘at home’, and this is something that Everybody’s Welcome asks us to explore – just how welcoming, how friendly, how family-sensitive are we? Can we deepen our understanding of ‘welcome’ and build on what we are already doing?
Would you be prepared to come and find out more? It could make all the difference to someone’s life – and to your parish life too.