EMBRACE

Building a Welcoming Community

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‘The heart of Christianity is hospitality’
Jean Varnier in ‘Something Understood’, BBC Radio 4, Palm Sunday, 2009

In helping to build a welcoming community it is important not just to provide a welcome for newcomers but also to help existing populations to adjust to change. Culture shock is acute for people who have left their home country, but the arrival of numbers of people who are different can also cause a range of emotions from unease and fear to hostility and aggression in local people. It is part of Christian leadership to acknowledge all these emotions and needs, and to find ways of creating mutual understanding and fellowship. Christians are not just called to be welcoming within their congregations but also within their private lives and in how they act as part of the wider community.

Read more as to how Christians can help build more inclusive communities

See also
EMBRACE Resources
EMBRACE Toolkit for Churches
Contemporary Christianity p.s. blog No More Them and Us
Contemporary Christianity p.s. blog Racism and the Church in Ireland
Contemporary Christianity p.s. blog Come with Me: A Way of Welcome 

Church Responses to Immigration, Asylum and Racism

Quoted in What the Bible Says about the Stranger by Kieran J O’Mahony OSA. The Churches’ Peace Education Programme, Irish Commission of Justice and Peace & Irish Council of Churches, Maynooth and Belfast, 1999.

In helping to build a welcoming community it is important not just to provide a welcome for newcomers but also to help existing populations to adjust to change. Cultural shock is acute for people who are made to feel out of place, but an influx of people who are different can also cause a range of emotions from unease to fear and hostility in local people. It is part of Christian leadership to acknowledge all these emotions and needs, and to find ways of creating mutual understanding and fellowship.

Read more on Church responses to issues on immigration, racism and asylum.