September 2006


We had our first meeting of the Moss Farm House Church… We had

  • 8 adults, 4 kids
  • a lite supper
  • a time of sharing our spiritual journey (each shared as they desired)
  • a time of prayer
  • a study of “kingdom” arrival in Matt 3
  • a time for Q&A

Thanks for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for the unchurched in our area, that God will help us find them and vice-versa.

This book was recommended by Gailyn Van Rheenan at a conference that I attended in 2005. It caught my attention in that I’ve always thought that hospitality is a missing element in my Christian life-lived.

Christine Pohl is a professor of Christian social ethics at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky.

The main premise of the book is that hospitality is a Christian imperitive and that it requires a very personal, emotional, time-consuming investment in those who are vulnerable (homeless, refugees, emigrants, mentally ill, poor travelers). She rejects peer-to-peer entertainment in homes as hospitality; that is entertainment, not hospitality; typically a reciprocal arrangement.

Here are some interesting lines…

Sustained hospitality requires a light hold on material possessions and a commitment to a simplified life-style.

Such welcome involves attentive listening and a mutual sharing of lives and life stories. It requires an openness of heart, a willingness to make one’s life visible to others, and a generosity of time and resources.

For many parts of the western church, hospitality got lost in the eighteenth centry. People were haveing trouble finding it for several centuries before then, but it disappeared as a significant moral practice in the 1700s.

When we want to respond personally to the needs of a stranger, we often face distinct institutional pressures that push us toward relying on specialists… contemporary attempts to recover the practice of hospitality are made more complex by the modern realities of highly specialized large-scale institutions, cultural pluralism, and concerns about the institutional viability of the family and the church… With urbanization and industrialization, the household has become smaller and more private… Privacy increases the risk involved in offering hospitality to strangers. Both hosts and guests are more vulnerable when hidden from view.

Recovering hospitality will involve reclaiming the household as a key site for ministry and then reconnecting the household and the church… To provide significant household-based hospitality, someone has to be home. Given the small size of most households in our society, it will also be important to explore joining households together and forming small communities that can provide a more substantial base for hospitality.

Although we often think of hospitality as a tame and pleasant practice, Christian hopitality has always had a subversive, countercultural dimension.

Sometimes we describe our nation as a society of relative strangers – millions of people minimally attached to home and community, highly mobile, independently pursuing our own projects, contentedly leaving one another alone to pursue our own tasks. We value autonomy and independence and are wary of tight community bonds. We often feel like strangers ourselves, somewhat rootless and disconnected, unsure of how to offer welcome or to whom it should be given.

It often seems that the most gracious hosts are themselves quite poor… some suggest an inverse relation between wealth and hospitality.

It may be helpful to view telephone calls as a place for hospitality. Given our high mobility and the numbers of people who live alone, phone calls now often sustain crucial human relationships.