By Dori Gorman, YMCA Chaplain
As we kick off Welcoming Week, we want to pray that all of our communities across Middle Tennessee would be welcoming.
Remind us that your Son spent his first years on this earth as a stranger in Egypt. Remind us that generations ago, most of our ancestors were strangers in this land. Remind us of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:35 that when we welcome the stranger, we welcome you.
Help us to welcome others as if we were welcoming you. Help us to listen first so that we can learn how to best welcome others in ways that are appropriate to their cultural and personal preferences. Help us to value the needs of others more than our own levels of comfort.
May every immigrant and refugee in our communities be welcomed with open arms, be treated with empathy and respect, and be encouraged with support and love. We want this for every person in Middle Tennessee, and this week we specifically pray this for everyone who is new to America.
We pray for families, for children, for the elderly, for single adults, and single parents who now call America home. We believe that no one is here by accident. We pray that you will give new Americans a hope and a future in this country. We pray that all will be welcomed at the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, and throughout our communities. May we be welcomers today and forever.