Tiny Try-It-Out: Welcome

We begin worship services with a word of greeting, a welcome ritual that gathers everyone in the “name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Jesus’ loving embrace is bigger than we can imagine! Part of following Jesus, then, means we practice “stretching our welcome” in our church, neighborhoods, communities, and the world. Use the resources provided to cultivate your own welcoming spirit.

Parents, use your own discretion when it comes to your kids. If content is rated for certain ages then we will indicate that. Enjoy!

Pause, light a candle, & take 15 minutes for caring conversation and prayer.

Share: What were your high and low points today?
Read: Matthew 10:40: [Jesus said] “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”
Reflect: Share a story about a time when you felt welcomed. Share a story about a time when you did not feel welcomed.
Pray: “Dear God, help us to remember how it feels to be welcomed, and to welcome others at home, in school, at church, and wherever we go. Amen.”
Bless: Trace a cross on each other’s shoulder, hand, or head and say “[Name], you are a beloved child of God.”

For more conversation starters, try Daring Deep Discussions.
For more Bible texts, go to Suggested Scripture Readings.

Going Deeper

  • All are welcome at Shepherd of the Valley—decorate and use this scripted postcard or write your own words on this unscripted version to invite a friend to church!
  • Make your own Luminary to bring a warm and welcoming glow to your home or elsewhere!
  • Listen to the children’s book “All Are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman, which is perfect for back-to-school! Wonder together: What if you replaced “classroom” with “church” (and “lunch” with “donuts”)? How is welcoming everyone to church the same as (or different from) from welcoming everyone to school?
  • Read the article “Raising Kids Who Embrace Those Who are Different” for some practical ideas for nurturing values of respect and inclusion in our children.
  • Reflect on Shepherd of the Valley’s updated Welcome Statement and how the idea and practice of “welcome” is experienced in your own faith and life.

Here’s a video introduction to “Welcome” and 2023-2024 Tiny Try-It-Outs, from the September 16-17 Good News For Kids.

Watch the joyful greeting SOTV travelers received from our Maasai partners in Tanzania.
This “jumping dance” is a traditional ritual of welcome and hospitality.

Enjoy the SOTV Worship Band’s cover of Kristian Stanfill’s “Glorious Day.”
How does it feel to know God calls your name, too?

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