As I was walking up from my house to the Welcome Garden last Saturday, I was joined by a woman who had moved recently to the neighborhood. She noticed that I was carrying pruners and garden gloves and asked me where I was going. I explained. Her response was music to my ears. “Is that the place with the labyrinth? It is so wonderful; it’s like an open ministry to the whole community.” That, of course, is what we had prayed for when we imagined and created the Welcome Garden.
On Saturday, spring cleanup day at WCUC, a team of gardeners went to work in our Welcome Garden with loppers and rakes, hedge clippers and gloved hands to spruce up the area for Holy Week and the coming season. The winter, harsh as it was, had not left a great deal of damage. Indeed, all that snow cover probably protected the plants. Once leaf litter was cleared away, we saw ample evidence of new growth.
Indoors, a companion team cleaned out closets, cleaned and straightened up the meeting places in the building. As we did in the garden, I believe they too looked around at the end of the morning and felt grateful that so many hands had once again made our sacred and beloved home a “Welcome Place.”