Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace. (1 Peter 4:9–10 NIV)
Christian hospitality is one of the most sacred gifts of the Spirit.
“In addition to wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, prophesying, serving, and others,” writes Kate Shungu, “hospitality is a spiritual gift. It is given by the Holy Spirit, by God’s grace, and used to serve others . . . . You may know someone (possibly yourself!) who has this gift. They often host people for a meal, or invite a group of people over to watch the game. They perhaps made you feel welcome on your first day on the job and showed you where the coffee machine and office supplies were. They introduced themselves to you at a party or at church, and took a moment to get to know you a little better. [Sometimes,] they invited you in when you had nowhere to go . . .” – Gift of Hospitality
When hospitality is practiced by the people of God, heaven touches and earth, and becomes a lens for God’s love. Hospitality is not only a joy to offer and a joy to experience, but opens wide the doors of the church––and the doors of people’s hearts. Love with a small ‘l,’ becomes “Love” with a big “L,” and people see God, some of them for the first time.
“We would see Jesus,” the Greeks asked Philip in John’s Gospel (John 12:21). No problem! Whether you’re Greek or not, we will show Jesus, God being our helper.
As you can imagine, St. Andrew’s Church takes hospitality seriously. Over many years, a Ladies’ Guild, a Fellowship Committee, and numerous ad hoc groups have hosted everything from teas to receptions to luncheons to coffee parties to children’s events to full-scale sit-down dinners of every description. In fact our congregation has become widely known for these ministries:––and though Covid-19 has now put a halt to them, Jesus is Lord, not Covid, and some day “we’ll be back” with a vengeance––a sacred vengeance (see Proverbs 25:22). So please stay tuned.
In the meantime, please enjoy a selection of photographs, which share this work!