Open hearts, open minds, open doors: Open House Month begins


Members of First United Methodist Church in Greenwood released 200 red balloons on Sept. 3, the first Sunday of Open House Month.

Attached to the balloons were tiny red kites and prayers for whoever finds them. The red kites echo one of the United Methodist television messages playing on national cable TV this month. In the spot, a young boy attaches his handwritten message to a red kite, then runs out and launches the kite high into the sky. Part of Igniting Ministry's "Prayer" expression, the message reminds us all to "believe again" in the power of prayer with child-like faith.

Igniting Ministry is the United Methodist Church's hospitality and media campaign.

Open House Month is an opportunity for churches to make a special effort to invite and welcome visitors. Greenwood First UMC is also sponsoring a Health Workshop for the community from 2-5 p.m. Sept. 10 as an Open House activity.

If you would like to learn more about the motivation and research behind the national advertising, explore the importance of developing a welcoming lifestyle in your church, and create an action plan to help build welcoming into your congregation’s culture, consider Welcoming 101, a self-paced online course complete with instructor-aided discussion forums, is offered four times a year and designed to help church leaders. The next opportunity for online training is Oct. 11-Nov. 26.