The community of St. Catherine’s is much larger than those we regularly see in church on Sunday or that we work with in our ministries. We may encounter friends, relatives, neighbors, and work associates who have drifted away from St. Catherine’s, people who no longer attend worship or participate in church activities. We want to reach out to them and minister to them—but we’re not always sure how. Below are some thoughts about how to handle a chance encounter with someone you haven’t seen in a while.
- Show your concern and God’s love by sincerely asking “How are you doing?” and then listening for the answer.
- Do not ask why they have not been in church or make a joke like “I’m glad to see you are still alive.” Their absence from church may be a sensitive subject for them and they may be hurt or feeling embarrassed.
- When should you talk about church? Never and always. Never specifically mention church and don’t jump in when they open the subject. Let your genuine concern for them as a person be your invitation to church.
- Remember we are all part of the St. Catherine’s family. The goal is not necessarily to get people back to church it is to carry God’s love to all our brothers and sisters.
If you run into some issues in your conversation that could use further contact or if you miss seeing friends or acquaintances at St. Catherine’s, you can inform a member of our Calling and Caring Ministry or the Clergy or Staff. Please let any of us know. The love of St. Catherine’s reaches out to all parishioners whether they are in Church or not.
Contact: Tom Hunter