Hospitality: A Way of Doing Justice

“Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ”
-St. Benedict

Is hospitality a forgotten virtue? Has welcoming the stranger, become too scary? Have we forgotten Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25 when he separated the nations based on their actions regarding the hungry, those without clothes, the sick, the prisoners and the stranger? His closing line to the righteous was “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

In our world today the political rhetoric is loud and clear: “Build walls or fences to keep refugees out;” “We don’t want anyone different from us living in our communities;” “What is mine, is mine not yours.” The problem is that many are believing the rhetoric – forgetting the teachings of their faith and falling into the trap of building up fortresses against differences.

On April 18 from 9:00 AM-3:30PM Garlinda Burton will facilitate a retreat at Scarritt Bennett Center on “Hospitality: A Way of Doing Justice.” In the retreat we will look at the scriptures for an understanding of biblical hospitality and then see what the scriptures have to say about our actions today. The lack of hospitality in our society for the refugee, gays, those of a race other than one’s own, those of another faith, etc. will be explored. We will try to answer what we can do in our community to be more hospitable to “all strangers” in our midst.

315gb smileGarlinda is a United Methodist deaconess and founder of Mother Wit, a consulting company that helps organizations address and live into cultural/global justice and inclusion, and foster personal and team excellence and cooperation. She leads Bible studies, spiritual life retreats, and offers keynote presentations for faith-based organizations.

The cost of this event is $50 and includes a hot lunch. Registration can be done online here or you can call Joyce Sohl at 615-340-7540.

This quote from Joan Chittister summarizes for me what hospitality can do for all of us:

“The stranger is a visit from the God of surprises who comes upon us at our most vulnerable and breaks us open to a new part of ourselves as well as to the needs of the other. Strangers bring the world in, place it at our fee, and dare us to be who and what we say we are.”
Join us in this retreat.

Joyce SohlJoyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, and quarterly retreats and art exhibits.