National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

You’re welcome

September 2014

by Rosie Schefe

Jesus knew a few things about welcoming people. He invited children to join him when the disciples shooed them away. He healed hundreds and fed thousands. He taught all those who were willing to listen, regardless of their gender, race or religious faction.

We want to be part of building a sense of local community and to be seen as a welcoming community.

Jesus knew too when he was welcome (or not). He was thrown out of the synagogue in Nazareth and he visited the home of the outcast Zacchaeus in Jericho. He turned the lukewarm hospitality of critics inside out in order to teach them what love truly looks like. More than ever, this year’s Longest Lutheran Lunch has ‘welcome’ at its heart. Now in its fourth year, the Longest Lutheran Lunch invites congregations to think about how they can welcome people into their place— not just with words, but with actions too.

SMALL TOWN—BIG WELCOME (SOUTH KILKERRAN, SA)

St John’s South Kilkerran has been part of Longest Lutheran Lunch since it began in 2011. Last year its parish partner, St Paul’s Maitland, joined in too. From the beginning St John’s has reached out to all its neighbours, doorknocking the entire town to issue invitations.