I recently went on a hospitality tour with my bread baking friends (one of whom I'm married to, btw). The plan was to spend a day hopping from shop to shop--evaluating our experiences as customers. I am a GREAT eater and drinker, so I begged my way into this rolling feast. At each stop, we looked at signage, how we were greeted, vibe of the space, cleanliness, menu and finally, product. Guess what matters a ton? To not be treated like an idiot when you first enter a shop. And by that, I mean...you walk into a shop for the first time and wonder what the rules are--it feels like the person behind the counter has the power and the info and it's up to them to impart it or not. I like to be welcomed and then given the tools to make my way. I don't want to be fussed over---but a genuine welcome is essential. Then I want to be told anything that would be helpful (daily specials not listed on the menu, etc). Also, anything that seems above and beyond is wonderfully memorable. One coffee shop automatically offered a glass of free sparkling water with every espresso drink. What?! Delightful. Of course I want some sparkling water. We talked about that experience for a long time.
What does this have to do with us, Humble Walk? We are not in the baking industry. We are not offering goods to a carload of consumers. But. We do want people to feel welcome and included and met the very first moment they walk into our gathered space.
All of this is to say, we need a Welcomer. A Julie McCoy. An Usher. A Pointer. Someone who volunteers to come early and stand at the door and say, "Hi. Welcome. I'm (your name). You will need this bulletin today. And here is a snack if you are hungry. And would you like to lead a part of the liturgy? Take one from this pile."
Prepare yourself. I'm doing an altar call this very Sunday. I will have a clipboard to sign up. But wait. There's more. Because we are resurrecting other places to sign up to lead (communion, bringing a snack). Clean up will still belong to everyone.
Are you wondering what our sparkling water--above and beyond at HW is? Oh mercy, that's you. You are our complementary sparkling water which comes as such a delightful surprise to every single person who arrives at the service. Above and beyond in every way.