We practise hospitality and generosity
A Methodist Way of Life identifies hospitality and generosity as practices that express learning and caring.
That is because they reflect the character of God and need to be at the heart of church life.
Hospitality is often seen in providing refreshments when people come together. Methodists are good at this! Whether it is simply tea and biscuits before or after an evening meeting, a harvest supper or a big bring-and share meal for a special occasion, there will be a group of people who see this as something they can and must do, their Christian duty. They may enjoy doing it too!
Hospitality is an attitude of openness to others, to learn about them and from them, to widen our understanding and perhaps to be changed by the encounter. It’s not always us being hospitable to someone else - it’s a blessing to receive it, too.
The classic Bible story about hospitality is that of Abraham welcoming three strangers. Abraham makes them comfortable and gives them food, but the three travellers also bring something. What they bring changes Sarah and Abraham’s lives forever (Genesis 18).
Generosity is also a basic Christian practice. As we have freely received, so we are to give freely. Principally we give because of God’s inexpressible gift in Jesus (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Our generosity will include what we give in the collection plate or by standing order to the church, and to appeals of All We Can, Action for Children, MHA and other charities. It also goes beyond these in our use of time, talents and attention.