The questions below invite you to reflect on your own experience of welcoming.
What did you learn about welcoming from your family?
What makes you feel comfortable in a space and in a new space? What are the physical things that make your home feel like home? That make your meeting feel like home? What about if you’ve been a guest, what have been physical things that made you feel comfortable and welcome– or uncomfortable and unwelcome?
Consider your experience coming to meeting for the first time.
What did you notice about welcoming?
What were the different landmarks on your journey toward becoming part of the meeting: what were your steps towards belonging?
What were obstacles on the path of belonging?
What stands out to you as you reflect on your experience of being welcomed?
Friends have sometimes talked about assimilating newcomers into meeting culture. This is not a welcoming frame. We should instead recognize that every time a new person attends our meeting the culture will change in some way. Welcoming practices embrace the changes that come with the new energy of newcomers and expand our meeting culture to meet their needs.