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Needed: Coordinator for Ministers of Hospitality

Ministry and service at Our Lady of the Lake is organized into Key Responsibility Areas. Each of the commissions of the parish designate a person to be the coordinator of these key areas. You might be able to appreciate the leadership provided by these coordinators if you reflect on the many people who are required to assist in the celebration of Sunday Mass. The Worship Commission’s work is spread out under the leadership of nine coordinators who recruit, train, and assist all those involved in various liturgical roles.

Just think about what it takes to prepare the environment for worship according to the changing seasons and feasts. Kathy Cotter as coordinator for Art and Environment does a super job in making sure that what we see and experience in the Church reflects the nature of the liturgical season. Mary Scarlett is the coordinator for Extraordinary Ministers. She not only recruits and trains new ministers, but helps me and the Worship Commission be attentive to any issues that might come up that affect bringing Holy Communion to the people.

For almost two years, the Worship Commission has been without a designated coordinator for the Ministry of Hospitality.  This is unfortunate. While we have been able to provide greeters, ushers and ministers of hospitality at mass, it has been a challenge at times to respond to the various difficulties that present as we host so many at Sunday Mass.

Pandemic requirements have made the job of an usher more important than ever. We are grateful to all those who stepped up offer their assistance in welcoming and seating people in church. We need from six to eight ushers at every Sunday Mass. Mary Wagemann works many hours each month making the ministry schedule and the scheduling of ministers of hospitality has been the most challenging aspect of that job. Other members of the Worship Commission have stepped in to help manage the needs of providing hospitality, but so far we have not been able to find someone to take on this key responsibility area.

As the summer draws closer, the need for ministers of hospitality will be more acute. Having a coordinator will go a long way in not only making our parishioners and visitors feel comfortable even in these difficult circumstances, but especially be of assistance to our ministers of hospitality as they fulfill their duties.

Jan Victors or Rembrant Studio: Abraham unknowingly welcomes the three angels from God. Genesis 18:9-15
Hermitage Museum. Jan Victors, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

One often over-looked aspect of the ministry of hospitality is safety and security. There are medical emergencies quite frequently during Mass. Our ushers are attentive to these situations and assist with the response to the emergency. This is a significant issue that needs careful attention and review so that we can help those who are ill. Security is a significant value we must attend to and is critical to hospitality. The coordinator for the Ministry of Hospitality can help us all become more aware of factors that impact our sense of security and attend to them with care and without delay.

I urge you to prayerful reflect on the value of hospitality. It is one of the most significant values encountered in the Scripture. In fact, our understanding of God as our creator necessarily recognizes that the God who welcomes us into existence has created a place for us to dwell here on earth. In offering hospitality, especially to the stranger or exile, we imitate God’s own generosity. The coordinator for the Ministry of Hospitality has a unique role in welcoming Christ in our midst, Christ who has made his dwelling among us. Wouldn’t you want to be the first in line to welcome him yourself?