Spiritual and Religious | Espiritual y Religioso
In her March column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on prayer. She reminds us that prayer is not about the technique—the how or why we pray. Prayer is an invitation to divine love. Prayer is about relationship with God. Prayer is God seeking us. Read her column in English: Spiritual and Religious, o lee su columna en español: Espiritual y Religioso.
Read a weekly blog on the lectionary from Cory Driver. A new post is published every Monday.
Multiplying Cultures of Hospitality
Soon after we are born, says acclaimed restaurateur Danny Meyer, most of us are blessed with the first gifts of life: a smile, a hug, eye contact, and food. While simple, these gifts satisfy on many different levels. In some respects, we spend the rest of our lives yearning for these same basic things: belonging, heartfelt connection to others, and unconditional affirmation of who we are.
Meyer says that, while his customers expect tasty food, what endears them to his restaurants is how his staff makes them feel. Good service is merely doing what is expected, delivering the right dish to the right person at the right temperature. Hospitality is something totally different, the enjoyment of serving and connecting with guests in a way that makes them feel special.
Within the restaurant industry, Meyer says, insiders are fascinated by the story of McDonald’s, and how an operation could be expanded massively yet still make hamburgers taste the same from Boston to San Diego. Meyer himself is more interested in scaling a corporate culture in which customers quickly notice something different about how they are treated and cared for. Isn’t this what Jesus was hoping for, a transformation of culture by his followers so that all might feel loved and accepted?
How does Meyer do it? First, he hires not just for technical competence but also for emotional intelligence and relational skills. When his staff operates at 100 percent, he says, it is 49 percent oriented toward task and 51 percent oriented toward feeling. Meyer also makes the point that customers cannot be treated well unless his staff first treat each other well. Is the customer always right? Meyer says no but adds that people want to be heard, which is ultimately more important than making clear to them that they are wrong.
I can’t help but think that Meyer has some important things for the church to consider. “Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel,” he says. “It’s that simple, and it’s that hard.” Watch an interview with Meyer here, or read his book.
Featured Resource for March
Now available as a FREE download, this resource is for white congregation members to learn about racial justice.
Save the Date
New Hope, Keller
Join the NT-NL Metroplex West Conference for this powerful workshop on generosity and stewardship.
Recent Blog Post
(https://www.ntnl.org/new-opportunities/ – published Mar. 11)
Where in the world is?
- Mar. 17-19: Texas Lutheran-Episcopalian Legislative Event, Austin
- Mar. 22-24: ELCA Young Adult Leader Gathering, Chicago
- Mar. 18: Interim pastors meeting, Briarwood (and Zoom)
- Mar. 23: Katrina Martich’s LDA consecration, St. Matthew, Fort Worth
- Mar. 24-27: Vacation
- Mar. 18: Congregational Vitality, Renewal Table, St. John’s, Dallas
- Mar. 20: Meeting with Lutheran Social Services
- Mar. 21: NT-NL Stewardship Team meeting
- Mar. 23: 25th Anniversary, New Hope, Keller
- Mar. 24: Rejoice, Coppell
- Mar. 24-27: All Staff Domestic Mission Unit, Chicago
- Mar. 17-19: Texas Lutheran-Episcopalian Legislative Event, Austin, TX
- Mar. 21: Immigration Webinar, Session II: Borderland Perspectives on Diverse Worldviews, Virtual
- Mar. 28: Last day for Guaranteed Hotel Rates for Synod Assembly
- Mar. 28: Interfaith Advocacy Day, Austin, TX
- Mar. 28: Immigration Webinar, Session III: Theological Perspectives from the U.S. – Mexico Borderlands, Virtual
- Mar. 30: Taller de Justicial Racial, Alvarado, TX
- Mar. 30: WELCA Dallas Area Metro North conference retreat, Carrollton, TX
- Apr. 5-8: Ecumenical Advocacy Days, Washington, DC
- Apr. 5-14: Faith Climate Action Week
- Apr. 9-11: Young at Heart Retreat, Briarwood
- Apr. 13: PLMA, Spring 2019, Course 2, Briarwood
- Apr. 13: Public Witness Team monthly meeting, Arlington, TX
- Apr. 15: Last day to Register Online for Synod Assembly
- Apr. 26-27: 2019 Synod Assembly, Richland Hills, TX
- Apr. 26-28: Houston Gathering Reunion at Synod Assembly, Fort Worth, TX
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit to the Synod office (email@example.com) for consideration for upcoming NT-NL News.