“Bring a Friend to Church”: Sunday, 3 December
Writer Israel Steinmetz made a simple, yet important point. “You know what’s awkward? Going to a new church. You know what’s worse? Going to a new church when you’re not already friends with someone who goes there.” And so – a new initiative of our Growth, Recruitment & Marketing Task Force is to designate Sunday, December 3rd, the first Sunday of Advent, as an intentional time to encourage people at SMM to invite a friend (or colleague, or family member) to experience SMM.
Visiting a new church can be awkward (like any other unknown situation). Visitors don’t know what to expect and don’t know what’s expected of them. For the shy and introverted or those who struggle in social situations this experience can be painful. How much better to ease into the experience by getting to know some of the members on “neutral territory”. I suggest asking someone that you have had over to your home for dinner or have had lunch/coffee with at some point, or even work closely with. Having one acquaintance in the bunch isn’t much encouragement. But having a good friend – someone you know well – goes a long way.
So let’s go ahead and take the risk to invite a family member, friend or even a colleague to join with us and share what I consider to be a rare “jewel” in the crown of Toronto churches. Let’s work together to take that first step in a journey of drawing them to this community of faith. A journey that usually begins by getting to know them – and inviting them to see our genuine expression of Jesus through worship, music and liturgical tradition.
On Sunday, December 3rd, as we begin the season of Advent leading to Christmas, there will be four: the 8.00, 9.30 (All Ages) and 11.00 masses, as well as an organ recital at 4.00 followed by Evensong, Advent carols and Benediction at 4.30. Will you join in inviting a friend to SMM?
Mark Stenabaugh with Fr David