Moving to a new place can be hard. Think back to a time when you moved to a new place. Remember how hard it was to leave the place you had grown to love? Remember how hard it was to feel like this new place was home? It takes awhile to get established in a place: to find a favorite coffee shop, restaurant, mechanic, hair stylist (well maybe not for me), not to mention making friends and finding a church.
Wendy and I have been in Marion for a little more than a year. It didn't take long for us to know that this was the place God was calling us to, we knew that right away. This year has been great for us. That being said, we are still feeling our way around. We don't know where every thing is. We don't know the quaint little spots in Marion and Cedar Rapids. We don't know when all the festivals are, or which ones are worth going to. We would love for people to tell us these things.
How would someone new to Marion know about the gem that is Stone City and how great the General Store is for dinner? We went a couple of weekends ago and enjoyed the turning of the leaves around the river that Grant Wood painted. The General Store was a great surprise. The staff was friendly. The atmosphere was cozy and interesting. The food was excellent. I kept thinking that I wanted to take my parents there the next time they visit. And at the end of the meal, the waitress brought marshmallows to make s'mores. Bonus!
It's the little things that you love that people need to hear about. Share your great experiences with people.
This is especially true with your church. Christ Community Church is a great place to make connections and to find a church family, but whose going to know that unless you tell them? How are they going to know they are welcome unless you ask them to come?
Help people get started in their new community. Give them great info about the hidden gems in the community, like a great place to eat or a great place to worship. Better yet, offer to take them with you next time you go.
Thank you for making us feel welcome.
Practice your faith every day.