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United Church of Christ

533 Route 28, Harwich Port, MA 02646 | Phone: 508-432-1668

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Waves of Faith-November 3, 2017

I read a blog from someone who was a church official. Her job required that she visit churches for various official reasons. Often she attended worship but was not recognized by other people in the pews. Though she might know the minister or a few church leaders, she worshipped in new places where she was taken for a stranger. But she learned a lot of valuable information in stealth mode. Being a newbie can tell you a lot about a church.

In one church a greeter walked up to her before the service began and said, “I don’t know you; what are you doing here?“ In another church the lady next to her took the hymnal in the pew to give to a friend and then avoided speaking to the visiting denominational official at the passing of the peace. Often this conference supervisor got the feeling she was not welcome or was completely ignored. 

Most people who come to a church expect the minister to be nice. The minister is basically paid to be welcoming. The real test of how they feel in a church comes from how they are treated by the people in the pews. The Bible is full of stories of strangers who arrived at the tent of Abraham, cities like Sodom, or a well in Samaria. They describe the experiences of strangers in a new place. True welcome is never about what you hope to gain or what you think the newbie will bring to the church. True welcome is the exercise of sharing with others out a humble understanding that we have all been new sometime in life. I like the story of Jesus at the well in Samaria. He arrived and was thirsty. a woman who had been an outcast in her village send the dipping gourd down into the well to fetch some water for Jesus. A simple gesture but full of kindness. We share with strangers because we see that they have been drawn to this spiritual well by the same thirst we have for spiritual nourishment. We share of the well where we have been fed. 

See you on Sunday for a new series on Sacred Stories. 


Rev. Susan


Reminder for Nov. 5th

We will be remembering our loved ones with the lighting of candles this Sunday in worship. I hope you will join us for this special service. 

Also, this is the day when the clocks turn back and you gain an extra hour of sleep. 


Posted: Friday November 3, 2017