Fall Back with Hospitality

by Lisa Meeder Turnbull
Diocesan Stewardship Consultant

Like all good things, the gift of “an extra hour” raises a fundamental question of stewardship: How will we spend it?

Many of us, of course, will take advantage of some extra sleep, or maybe indulge in staying up late on Saturday night. Inevitably, and no matter how well we plan our clock changes, there will be those who arrive early for morning services.

Why not make this an opportunity for moments of grace?

  • Recruit a few greeters to intentionally arrive early, prepared to spend time with early comers. This isn’t just for newcomers or recent members; long-time members and life-long friends enjoy unhurried conversation, too.
  • Invite! If you are one who arrives early for Altar Guild, Coffee Hour hosting, or Church School, invite the early comers to keep you company, pitch in, and be a part of things. You might find new gifts in your midst!
  • Create a small chapel space. Some early comers might appreciate an unexpected time of quiet, prayer, and reflection.
  • Plan into it. For the last month or so members of my congregation have been writing favorite hymns on a list posted to the bulletin board. We’ll use our “bonus time” for a half-hour hymn sing before the service begins.

What else might our congregations do with an extra hour? How might we fall back with hospitality? Share your thoughts in the comments below—let’s see how creative we can be with this gift of time!

Questions for Lisa about your church and stewardship? Please be in touch with her at mainestewards@yahoo.com.

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