St. Paul’s has quite a few items we keep in neat pew boxes: Informational brochures and post cards, welcome materials, collection envelopes. An inviting pew box is part of a ministry of hospitality. Maintaining them is an opportunity for prayerful meditation and education. There are concerts at St. Paul’s every night of the week (generating much of our bottom line), and it’s clear from what is rifled through and what is taken that many patrons are learning a bit about the church, the refugee center, and the Gospel from our materials. Maintaining 72 pew boxes is an opportunity to meditate on how we are communicating the Good News and how it may be being received. It is also an occasion to pray for those who grace our doors, showing up for the “Three Tenors” but maybe, for a moment, considering the grandeur of God.
Occasionally, someone fills out a welcome card. “Great concert, beautiful church” is typical. The one on my desk at the moment is actually from a Sunday worship visitor: “It was wonderful to meet you. We come from Turkey to visit the Rome. We are Muslim but your peaceful behaviours get feel very wonderful!”