“Visitors Welcome” seems to be a friendly message. I received an invitation to a party at a church that claims “Visitors Welcome.” When I arrived, I was greeted in a friendly manner, but then I was asked if I would be taking the missionary lessons and attending Sunday church meetings. I respectfully answered that I would not be worshiping with them, but that I would like to simply join them for their social activities.
Their enthusiasm for my presence quickly, but politely, cooled. I don’t think that I’ll be invited to their future activities.
I am not seeking religion. My only agenda is friendship. What an excellent opportunity they had to turn a stranger into an enthusiastic friend. I still see them as friends and would enjoy socializing with them.
Oh, if that “Visitors Welcome” had really meant: “There are no strangers here, everyone is respected, accepted, not judged, and treated as an equal human being—a beloved friend.”
JOHN D. LOPEZ