Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
We are called to show hospitality by Jesus. Looking closer at that word is interesting. Hospitality can be defined as “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” In the New Testament, the Greek word translated hospitality literally means “love of strangers.”
What does hospitality look like at University? Sunday mornings hospitality begins early with folks from the taco and coffee teams arriving between 6 - 7am to prepare hundreds of tacos and coffee. These people serve behind the scenes but are the faces many folks see first out front. Linda Harrison is with her team on Traditional and Melissa Carrasco is with hers on Modern at the outer doors with welcoming smiles, ready to give handshakes or hug members, guests and strangers alike as they arrive. These teams make newcomers feel welcomed and information desk folks help ease nervousness and making visitors feel at home as they find their way to worship service, kids ministry or adult Sunday school classes. They have a gift for helping make people feel welcomed in a new place.
We also have Wednesday morning hospitality with Coffee and Breakfast bites that offer coffee, fruit, and small breakfast bites. This is a place where you can have a simple conversation or relax before the busyness of the day starts and is a nice midweek boost for many people. For more information contact .
Wednesday Nights at University is a pure joy to watch. It begins in the morning as a group of students from Clark High School come over to help set up tables and beverage stations for the evening. Beginning at 5pm greeters Dave and Kathy Walden stand faithful at the North Campus doors welcoming all that come to dinner. The Walden’s are always on the lookout for guests or strangers to help get connected with Wednesday evening activities. Serving teams arrive with aprons in hand ready to serve folks. Many on our serving teams serve on a weekly basis because in their words, “we wouldn’t miss it for anything!” For more information on Wednesday Evening meals and activities click here.
Hospitality has a couple more behind the scene teams - cookie bakers and the special events team. First the cookie bakers, when the church needs large amounts of cookies the theses ladies and gents get to baking! The second group of folks are on hand when there is a large All Church event or outside group. They help with set up, welcome, direct folks to the proper location, serve and clean up for some of the church's largest event (All Church Potluck, CPS Foster care Christmas party, etc.)
All of these disciples reflect the love of Jesus to hundreds of people who walk through the doors of University. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” I am truly amazed and thankful for the folks who serve within the Hospitality Ministry throughout the week at University.