Sunday, November 13

Visitors or Guests?

We had lovely guests for dinner this evening. I made clam chowder with the remaining clams from Long Island (if you don't remember my tale of the here). And thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Lynchburg we also had Lobster Newburg. I hate to pat myself on the back...but it was pretty darn good.

A quick aside on the whole Newburg sauce: it is delicious but one of the easiest sauces I've ever made. It is one of those sauces that you have to pay attention to though...because if it is nearly impossible to fix. You need a stick of butter ( know it is going to be good. And NO, you cannot use un-butter) 4 egg yolks, a cup of cream (I was out, so I used evaporated milk - NOT condensed!! They aren't interchangeable!) and 4 tbsp of sherry. Melt the butter. Mix the yolks, cream and sherry
together. The recipe police will tell you that the sherry gets added separately - but once you start stirring in the yolk/ won't have a hand free for measuring out the sherry. have hot butter and room temp egg yolks/cream...this is where it gets tricky. If you don't stir/whisk constantly while adding the yolk will get scrambled eggs. That is not pretty. And you can't fix it. But, assuming you do it right, you'll get a lovely pale yellow sauce. Now just simmer (don't let it boil!!!) until it thickens. Add lobster. Or shrimp. Or tofu. Well, maybe not.

Ok...rabbit trail complete. Back to dinner with our friends. We had some great conversations through the evening. One that I found particularly worth sharing was about folks in church. Specifically persons "visiting" Centenary.

Recently a number of folks in our area attended a church growth workshop (I was not able to attend) and one of the things that they discussed was the difference between treating people as visitors and treating them as guests.

I know, it seems on the surface that there is not much difference in the two. Guests or Visitors - why would it matter what we call them? But my mind was changed as we discussed the topic. Guests are invited. Special. We want them to come back. We want them to be comfortable. We desire their company. Just like the guests in our home this evening.

Visitors are just there to visit. They might come back or they might not. We don't know much about them or how long they are going to stay.

At Centenary UMC we are working to change our attitude toward people who come to see what we are all about. We want them to be like guests in our home. Because we want to know more about them and what their needs are. What their interests are. How we can bring them into the family.
My biological family is pretty much all about hospitality. My mom is about the most hospitable person on the planet. When I was growing up there was always room at the table for one more (or two...or twenty). There was always a bed (or couch) for someone who needed it. We never had visitors...and guests became family. The first two times you come to our house we'll wait on you - get your drink, clear your plate, fluff your pillow. By the third time, you know where the glasses are...welcome to the family. What is ours - is yours.

Church family should be the same. Come and see. Heck, I'll even fluff your pillow.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post... and I'm guessing excellent shellfish of a wide variety. Allergic so I didn't invite myself over - cause you know I would have!