The House: What made you decide to participate in the greeting ministry at church?
Val Squires: I felt led to "put myself out there" and interact with the people I worship with each week at Saturday night service. Being a member of the Welcome Team is a non-threatening way to meet and serve others.
Terry and Gayle Reid: There are many areas of opportunities to serve within the church, and what came to both our minds was serving on the Welcome Team. In the past we have had the opportunity to visit a few different churches and noticed what a difference it makes in our overall church experience when someone was right there to greet us when we walked in the door, and was available to answer any questions we may have.
Betty Rae Radke: We were relatively new to the church, relocating here from eastern Oregon over last the 2 years, so I decided to par ticipate in the greeting ministry to help provide some of the same inviting first impression of this church that I received.
Patti LaRose: I have been attending EHAC for about five yrs. but didn't feel like I was a part of the church. I worked a rotating shift before, so when I found myself on extensive light duty straight day shift, I decided it would be a great opportunity to become more a part of East Hills.
The House: What do you enjoy about being a greeter?
Val Squires: I enjoy welcoming people into our home for corporate worship. I share my smile with them and they almost always share their smile with me. It's lovely.
Terry and Gayle Reid: The East Hills family has an incredible way of making people feel warm and welcome, and add to that a smile, a kind "hello" and "we are glad you are here" type of welcome may just make someone’s day a little bit better.
Betty Rae Radke: I enjoy being involved in providing the first smile or eye contact to familiar and unfamiliar faces that come in the door and in praying that each one will find in the hour ahead some connection to a personal current need in their life. I also enjoy having a bit of personal pre-service worship as the music worship team accompanies the coffee brewing!
Patty LaRose: I have gotten to know members of the church and am recognized. I have more of a sense of belonging.
The House: Was there anything difficult for you at first?
Val Squires: For me, the most difficult part of the process was taking the step to contact Nick and say "Yes, I would like to be a member of the Welcome Team." I was very nervous the first weekend I served but I got through it. Everyone is so kind and gracious.
Terry and Gayle Reid: Being a greeter does come with a couple of challenges, such as: Having to make a
conscious effort to limit visiting time with some of the regular attendees. We are all one big family, right? How do you ignore family? Also, trying to figure out who is new vs. who is just attending a different service. I'm not sure why, but it's extremely scary to ask someone if they are new, knowing they could respond with "No, I've been coming here for 5 years."
Betty Rae Radke: Thinking at first that I “should” ask and remember names of everyone. Repetition does help, so thanks to the regular attenders!
The House: What is encouraging about this ministry for you?
Val Squires: To date, I have served on Welcome Team 3 times. I recognize many of the Saturday evening regular attendees and as time passes, I hope to learn the names of the people I greet.
Becoming a member of the Welcome Team started with the challenge of taking a step of faith and saying "Yes." when called to take action. God does not disappoint. He is using me to welcome His beloved children and seekers to worship Him. I feel privileged to do that.
Betty Rae Radke: I guess it is encouraging that I CAN’T keep up with the new faces!
Patty LaRose: I especially like getting to know everyone at church. I am even able to be helpful if someone isn't sure about something. I have more ownership at East Hills. I like to think that if someone is new to East Hills that I am extending a welcoming hand to them when I smile and give them a bulletin.