April 22 – Radical Hospitality with Joyce Farrokh

Hello!  My name is Joyce Farrokh and I am a snowbird, officially a Florida resident but we go back to our home in Rochester, New York for the summer.  

Scripture: Matthew 25:35 – For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.

“Hospitality—A gift of the Holy Spirit”

What makes a church a home?  Matthew 25:35 says “I was a stranger and you invited me in.”  In our home in Rochester I have a cross stitch picture that says “Home is where they love you.”  I think these two statements show what a church should be.

A long time ago I read the book about five characteristics of a healthy church and remember being encouraged about one of statements about hospitality being a gift of the Spirit.  what a church should be!

How was I made to feel welcome at Lake Deaton United Methodist Church?  I first started coming several years ago when the church was meeting in Eisenhower Recreation Center and it was not too far to drive.  I found that the greeters made you feel welcome and gave you a bulletin and helped you find a seat and also let you know about opportunities after the service to learn more about the church.  There is a verse that says “The Lord inhabits the praise of His people,” and I sensed that it in the heartfelt worship of the congregation.  Pastor Jim gave very good messages and I felt completely at home.  When the church moved to the new building in Lake Deaton I signed up to join one of the women’s small groups and it was the best decision and we now call our group “Sweet Sisters in Faith.”  All of these women are precious to me and true sisters in the Lord.  From our first meeting we have been transparent with each other and I have seen the light of Christ shine through my sisters.  We study together and take turns leading and support each other in prayer.

There are many opportunities here at Lake Deaton United Methodist for spiritual growth and service to the Lord and I invite you to join a small group or Bible study.  I am thankful that we are able to join worship online during this pandemic and appreciate all the hard work that has made this possible!

This is a church that looks to the Lord for vision and direction for the future.   I believe that we are called to grow and thrive and invite you to come and find God’s love here!  Snowbirds welcome!

Discussion Question:

How can I use the opportunities that arise to invite and welcome others to come to worship and join a small group or Bible study?

Closing prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing me to this church home.  I pray that all who come here will experience the deep love You have for them through Your Son, Jesus Christ.  I pray that they will be nurtured by Your Word, strengthened by the fellowship of other believers and guided by Your Holy Spirit to develop the gifts You have graciously given.  I pray this in Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

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