The Rev. Nanette Sawyer is founding pastor of Wicker Park Grace, an innovative Christian community in Chicago that holds hospitality as a core value. An ordained minister with the Presbyterian Church (USA), she serves as a representative on the Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches USA. This paperback is part of the Art of Spiritual Living series from Skylight Paths Publishing.
Sawyer sees the spiritual practice of hospitality as sending out circles of meaning and connection in our lives. Its three main qualities are receptivity (opening the door to God), reverence (entering the space of love between us), and generosity (giving the gifts that we have received). Her interfaith exploration covers these aspects of the spiritual power of invitation and welcome:
• Hospitality to God: Welcoming God's Welcome
• Hospitality to Self: Inviting the Authentic Self
• Hospitality to Family: Offering Full Presence to Those Closest to Us
• Hospitality to Neighbors: Becoming the Merciful Neighbor
• Hospitality to Strangers: Pursuing Kinship Rather Than Estrangement
• Hospitality to Enemies: Extending Generosity Through Non-Retaliation
• Hospitality to Creation: Knowing Creation Relationally
The author includes in this excellent treatment of hospitality pieces on centering prayer, mantra practice, compassionate acceptance, making intentional conversation, dealing with fear, looking for the good in our adversaries, and embodying a life of balance with creation. She concludes:
"When we make choices to become more hospitable, we find that we become more whole ourselves — open to the world, to life, to relationship. Living centered in hospitality is living centered in love, trust, possibility, and hope. When we allow God and true self to come together in our inner core, we find ourselves filled with a love that we can't help but share."