We have had a number of people submit their stories of how they are welcoming the stranger. Here are a couple examples of how you might also help welcome people who you do not yet know.
Barb Kramber writes:
"Let the games begin!"
I came up with the idea in November or early December to initiate an afternoon of card playing (and/or table games) at our church. I set the date for 1/19, from 1:30 - 3:30, contacted our parish priest, Fr. Joe Vanderberg, for his approval and blessing, which he gave; and contacted the church's office to set up bulletin announcements to begin the end of December.
It's happening! And it will take place on the 3rd Thursday of each month. This works for me (I'm involved in many other community happenings so time is limited), but maybe with the help of others, it could be expanded to occur more frequently.
Why did I come up with this idea? There is an elderly couple, Judy and Collin, who became members of our parish (Sacred Heart) a few years ago. They're very friendly and outgoing, and I've come to know them through the church. I learned they enjoy playing the game of Whist (a card game), but knew of no one in this area to play with. The idea came to me after this conversation with them of the many who are new to our area but have no real way of meeting and interacting with others! Oh, there are things to do, and certainly organizations to join to be involved; but for just a social outing? Cards and table games are very interactive with others, have no commitments, are very social, and best of all inexpensive! We're meeting in our church's basement, and I have all the needs! That's it. We'll be welcoming a lot of strangers, in a way.
Michele Kemmetmueller writes:
Last Sunday after Mass, my husband and I ate at a pancake breakfast at church. We sat down at a table with a Mom and daughter we did not know. They were done eating and left soon. Then a tall young man (John) asked if he could sit at our table. He joined us and told us that he walked for an hour to get to the church!
He was from Oregon, staying in a motel in Minnesota. On the way to MN, his truck broke down and was being fixed in Denver so he took the bus to MN. He came to visit a friend but could not meet the friend until Monday.
We had plans Sunday afternoon to play games and eat dinner with two of our “single never married” children. We invited him to our home to play games with us! He also liked to play games and fit right into our “family”.
Long story short, he ended up staying at our home for two nights. He visited his friend on Monday and left Tuesday afternoon. He shared much of his “story”. We found out that he is very pro-life and likes the Latin Mass! We had never invited a “stranger” to our home but it was a wonderful experience for all of us!