What a Blessed Welcome

What a blessed experience this first month at Asbury has been. With kind words, cards, flowers, office pranks, and overwhelming love Nick and I have been welcomed into this community. Words cannot express the power of welcome. The power of being made to feel at home. The power of being accepted. It is truly a gift to receive such hospitality and love. And it is a gift to see that same loving welcome bestowed on others. From the welcoming of the homeless and hungry on Tuesdays and Thursday to the welcoming of children for a week of VBS, this is a church that knows how to welcome. This is a church that knows how to be the open arms of God’s grace and love. A welcome is a powerful and transformative gift to receive. I am reminded of Boaz welcoming the homeless and hungry Ruth to his fields, of Jesus welcoming the tax collector Levi into his band of disciples, of Peter welcoming the roman centurion Cornelius into that early group of the followers of the Risen Christ. Welcomes transform. They offer the chance to be seen for who we really are, not as other or stranger but as a beloved child of God, formed in the image of God. They offer us a chance to be reminded of how God views us. They offer us a chance to experience and live in God’s grace. What a gift. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the gracious welcome you have offered to Nick and me. We look forward to experiencing and living in God’s grace together with this community.

-Pastor Chelsea

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