Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

By Eileen Gilmer, Associate Pastor

As your clergy staff, Jim, Keith and I are here to be of help and guidance however we can. Keith and I also have areas of concentration. Keith’s is education and mine is outreach. We spend much of our time focusing on those areas. I wanted to let you know why I feel called to this important ministry and why I need your help in fulfilling this mission.

“Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” Romans 12:13 NRSV

Miriam Webster defines outreach as the act of reaching out, and as the “extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits.” The first definition might seem rather simplified, but most outreach does begin literally, with the act of reaching out. I extend my hand, reaching out to welcome those who are visitors. The second half of the definition is what I strive my mission to be: the extending of services or assistance beyond current or usual limits. My goal is to offer a welcome to those who are new, providing a church experience that goes above and beyond.

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35

We have just a few minutes until a visitor decides whether Trinity is a good fit. That’s not much time. Think about when you first came to our church. Can you remember your first impression? Odds are good it was favorable, or you wouldn’t have returned. This is where you come into the equation.

Whether you are relatively new to Trinity or if you are a longtime member, the request is still the same. I ask that if you see new faces in church, walk up to them and welcome them to Trinity. Think about how much greater the experience is for someone who is made to feel welcomed. Don’t worry that you might not have the answers to all their questions; Jim, Keith or I can handle that. Most people just want to feel they belong.

“Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:1

Not everyone is called to ministry, but everyone is called to serve. One of the best ways you can fulfill that call is to show the love of Christ to visitors. Let them see the light of Christ in our hearts and minds. Who knows? Maybe we’ll entertain a few angels along the way.


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Trinity United Methodist Church is located in McLean, VA. Our weekly worship services are on Sundays at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. and on Wednesdays at noon. Sunday School is at 9:30 a.m. for children and adults. Children up to 6th grade are also invited to Children's Education during the 10:30 service. Adult Bible Study also occurs on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Please visit our website for more information.

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