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HOSPITALITY: Welcoming both the friend and the stranger

September 26, 2017
By Jennifer Baham

Growing up in the Midwest taught me that hospitality is cleaning your house for company and preparing enough food for everyone to have seconds, thirds, and leftovers. Upon closer inspection, hospitality is so much more, and it offers rich implications for us as God’s people. One of our SJCS Throughlines reads: Healthy People hold a loving self-image as well as a loving view of others, both the friend and the stranger:

In a classroom, hospitality includes smiling at students when they arrive and looking them in the eye as we greet them. Mr. Hoksbergen uses music to establish hospitality in his classroom where students are welcome, and relationship with each other matters. Classroom hospitality can also mean welcoming strangers with open minds and hearts. Mrs. DenOuden modeled this the first week of school as she introduced her class to a new textbook. Students explored the book and opened their minds and hearts to the relationship they would have with it as they studied math together. Mrs. DenOuden wove important topics into their exploration such as learning styles, teamwork, and critical thinking skills.

Last week the 8th Graders considered the implications of what it means to show hospitality to the other middle school students. As leaders on campus, 8th graders can set the tone of holding a loving view of others, both the friend and the stranger. Be sure to ask our 8th graders about #SouthernHospitality!