There is a small group of individuals who take up a most important task each week on Sunday mornings at UUCG. They are our Greeters. We have outside greeters who are in the parking lot. We have inside greeters just inside the doorway. Whether you have been coming to UUCG for years like I have, or it’s your very first visit, these generous people are engaged in what I have come to think of as sacred exchange.
This sacred exchange starts the way most human encounters do. Good morning! Hello! How are you? My name is ________. What’s your name? Immediately, whether you are new here or a long time member or somewhere in between, the back and forth exchanges begin. These exchanges are gentle, persistent sounds of human beings reaching out and beginning to weave other human beings into the community.
Hi there. Come in. We are happy to see you. We want to know you. We want you to know us. Let me show you this space. You are welcome here, and here, and here. This is who we are. We want you to be here. What brought you here today? How can we help? Here’s what you may be interested in. Here, let me help you find a seat. Would you like a cup of coffee, a hymnal, an order of service?
These sacred exchanges, of reaching out to strangers who have dared to enter new and strange spaces, happen week after week, and are among the most important things we do, for two reasons. First, when someone dares to enter a new and strange space, a series of truly friendly exchanges transforms anxiety and fear into curiosity and courage and makes compassion a real possibility. Second, our greeters are setting us all up, with every sacred exchange, to live out the curiosity, courage and compassion that we envision. Our greeters really are our functional prophets calling us to our true and best selves.