As Paul concludes his letter to the church in Rome, the Great Apostle writes “I commend to you our sister, Phoebe, a minister of the church at Cenchereae, so that you may welcome her in the Lord.” In the sixteenth chapter Paul greets over thirty people by name, in a church he has yet to visit! He must have been good with names! Our faith unfolds in community. God calls us to incarnate Christ through acts of hospitality. “Welcome one another, just as Christ Welcomed you for the Glory of God” (Romans 15:7)” The idea that the Creator God might be glorified by our welcoming each other staggers my thinking.

Thank you for the warm embrace you offered our family this past Sunday. Connie, Lewis, and Caleb each remarked on how Belmont offered us such warmth, inclusion, and kindness. Thank you for walking over and chatting with our boys, asking about their interests and affirming them. Thank you for the cards and notes. We are humbled, hopeful, and ready to serve this amazing congregation. May God bless our journey together.

Grace and love, Pastor Paul.