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On Wednesday nights at youth, we are going through a new series called “Welcoming.” All throughout the Bible, God calls for His people to welcome others, epically the least, the lost, and the lonely. As an activity, we got into small groups on Wednesday night and each group was assigned a passage of Scripture to read together. Each passage continued a calling to welcome and love those who are often neglected and forgotten. People like the foreigners, the poor, the children, the sick, the troubled, and others whom society labeled as “the least” were mentioned, and the calling to love them today remains.

Places like schools, work sites, gyms, and cafeterias can feel like very unwelcoming places sometimes. Sadly, there are people out there today who feel the same about churches: they view churches as unfriendly and unwelcoming. The fact that there are people out there who feel unwelcomed in a church breaks my heart, because that is the opposite of what Jesus intended His Church to be.

What a joy it is to be part of a congregation at Jones United Methodist Church that understands the calling of welcoming the least, the lost, and the lonely. A church that loves and loves and loves and loves. I pray that, as we continually study the Scriptures and grow closer to God, we would continue to be a welcoming church, and we would “increase and abound in love for one another and for all.”

I love you all. Blessings!

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