Ponderings for August 15 2018

Observations from accompanying Mila to her first day of second grade:
I saw how cute all of the children were in their “first day” clothes and massive backpacks (Mila was the cutest of them all, of course!). But my attention quickly switched to the parents. What a diverse and relatable set of reactions I was watching.
The fourth- and fifth-grade parents were in the “experienced zone,” yawning a bit—in true been there, done that mode, but still glad to see other parents they’ve known for years and able to get right back into the routine. The second- and third-grade parents still had the enthusiasm of a new school year—taking a lot of pictures, encouraging their children that this would be the “best year ever,” and talking about their hopes for the coming year. Although I did notice a little bit of complaining: “We didn’t get the teacher we wanted,” “These new signs look really dumb,” and the like.
Now, the kindergarten parents are an entirely different group. Insecure Mom and Dad cling to each other as they watch their baby herded off into the abyss of Door #3. I saw some tears and many nervous faces and a lot standing off by themselves. This is a new and scary experience, and the veterans were not assisting them at all. They must have forgotten what it was like to be the kindergarten mom, the new parent.
Here’s my application to Trinity: As the fall is upon us and many new people may be visiting Trinity for the first time; as we continue to invite those we meet and give them our square Trinity “welcome” cards (don’t forget to adhere your sticker to the Lake County map in our foyer); as the Gathering Space is built and attracts many from the community—let’s be the most welcoming and friendly bunch ever! Let’s not forget what it’s like to be the new one. The insecurities and sense of not fitting in are real. Thank you for going out of your way to greet the new faces and let them know that their first Trinity experience will be good and warm and positive. 
I enlist all of us to be the hospitality team of Trinity Church. It will make a world of difference for those who took the initiative to visit us. 
See you Sunday,
Pastor Paul