Three Radical Welcomers

The term radical hospitality can be defined as a practice of putting extraordinary effort and emphasis on making people feel welcome. This concept is often referred to as radical welcome and focuses on breaking down barriers that prevent people from participating in an effort, campaign, or community.

This Sunday, the little church I’ve been a member of for more than 30 years is honoring three of the most radical welcomers I’ve ever known. To begin the celebration we’ll be blessing and dedicating our new front doors, in loving and grateFULL memory of John Gardner, DeLane Shelley, and Dickie Crutchfield.

As you can tell from their smiles, all of these dear men loved to laugh and none ever met a stranger. They welcomed all and exemplified the love of Christ in word and deed. They were devoted to their Creator, families, community, and committed to improving the quality of life for all.

Thanks to memorial donations made in honor of John, DeLane, and Dickie, our beautiful solid mahogany doors were handcrafted by skilled local craftsmen.

But I digress…

I could go on and on and on… about John, DeLane, and Dickie, individually, but another quality they shared was Presence. Every.single.time I was in the presence of any these men, I felt like nothing in the world was more important to them than the conversation we were sharing at.that.moment. What a gift. What a welcome.

If you knew John, DeLane, or Dickie, please feel free to share a story about how one of them made you feel welcome. If you didn’t know them, please feel free to share a story about how you felt welcomed by someone dear to you.