Tales from the Team

  • 25 May 2022
  • Alison Keene
Welcoming and integration
Do you find it interesting to look back at good and bad experiences of going somewhere new?  It’s a bit of a hobby of mine!  A while ago when we were on holidays, we visited a church.  The Welcomer gave us a service sheet to share, and we sat down.  When the service had started and we stood to sing the first hymn, we saw that we had the wrong service sheet – it was last week’s!  So in order to join in the service, Andrew had the slight awkwardness of walking to the back of the church in front of everyone, to get the right one.  I know it’s only a small thing, but it wasn’t a good start to be honest. 
In all our contact with newcomers, as ordinary members of SHAP, it’s really important to get the little things right I reckon… helping them to know how we receive communion, never letting a new person stand on their own at coffee, making appropriate small talk, remembering someone’s name once they’ve told us, making sure they know how to find more information about SHAP, offering them some cake – or whatever it is!  And with our friends we’ve known for many years, how lovely it is when someone remembers a conversation from before, and says ‘how did you go last week with your……?’ From little things, big things grow (thanks Paul Kelly), and it is our privilege to be doing those little things around our community.