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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality

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Author Henry G. Brinton believes that "hospitality is the key to becoming an uncommon Christian community — one that embraces all people with God's love and grace." He says: "The need is greater now than ever, since all of us are living in a polarized society."

The parish pastor took a three-month sabbatical to examine congregations where hospitality is evident in their respect for people of diverse opinions, perspectives and lifestyles. He came to the conclusion that five areas of focus are needed to transform more congregations into uncommon communities: worship, nurture, extend hospitality, serve and work for reconciliation.

Brinton grounds his overview with biblical insights and a vision of Jesus Christ as a model of openness to all people. He includes discussion questions and preaching suggestions throughout the paperback.

He concludes: "The challenge of Christian hospitality is to embrace all people with God's love and grace, welcoming them as unconditionally as God has received us in Christ" (Westminster John Knox Press).


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