Joint worship ELCA & UMC: 10 tips for welcoming our new friends

elca.umc.Starting Sunday May 25 at 9:00, St. Michael’s welcomes the United Methodist Church of New Canaan to worship with us for the summer.

Below are 10 suggestions to make this a worthwhile experience for everyone while we are together.

They are also 10 considerations to ponder for all newcomers who join us on any given Sunday:

1. Have fun.

Make a new friend. Get over yourself. Learn something new. Treat our time together as an adventure!

2. Value people.

Bear this in mind above all things: Jesus came to teach us to see the worth of each person, not how to better defend our turf.

3. Sit someplace new.

Our new friends will be away from “home” all summer, so let’s join them by looking on our own church with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

4. Talk to three people you don’t know before talking to your friends.

Hospitality first. Always. Go out of your way to say “hello” and introduce yourself.

5. See yourself as if you  were an outsider.

If you were new here, what would you find  helpful to know that wasn’t explained? Go out of your way to help others negotiate the awkwardness of being new.

6. Expect bumps in the road.

There is no “us” and “them.” “How we do it” is a new reality as two groups share something new together. We are inventing “we.”

7. Smile. You can never smile enough to help people feel wanted and welcome.

Be self-conscious about your friendliness. You’d be surprised how even the most friendly people look when they are not smiling. Body language counts. Practice. Be intentional.

8. Assume new people do not know where anything is and act as if nothing around here is self-evident.

Help. Ask. Show. Be gracious. Don’t be the reason people don’t want to participate; be the reason they do!

9. Let the children come.

Jesus welcomed the children and blessed them. Keep in mind that every parent judges a community by either how well or how poorly they interact with their children. We include and value kids pretty well, so let’s keep up the good work 🙂

10. Remember that we are all on the same team.

Jesus prayed, “that they would be one.” Do we have different practices and traditions? Of course! Try to appreciate our differences. We are all part of the body of Christ “one faith, one baptism, one Lord of all.”

Thanks for your help in making it a great summer. See you Sunday!



Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.” (Matthew 10:40)


(The full communion agreement between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church, 2009,) Online Available:


About geoff sinibaldo

Follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, Son, Friend, Change Proponent, Goofball, Seeking Faithfulness in the 21st Century
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