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Ministry of Hangers: Rev.David Shearman reports on one of our resident saints.

Hospitality is the buzz word in our denomination these days. Making people
feel welcome is important, so our leaders and those who know, tell us.
So are the details.
This week one of our church saints stopped in with several bags of new,
wooden hangers. Around the church office we wondered why.
“They were on sale at Canadian Tire this week,” she said, “and looking at
the coat racks by the doors, I thought we could use them.”
She was right. And I hadn’t noticed.
Like most churches in this country we have lots of coat racks near the
doors. And there are lots and lots of hangers. All kinds of hangers. Wire
ones. Plastic ones. Wooden one. Some are bent. A few are broken. Some were
so old that the business names are long gone and phone numbers are three
digits (that means they are older than most of the people in the church
today; perhaps as old as the United Church of Canada itself!).
The point our saint was making, in a very gentle way, was that to anyone
walking in the door they looked like junk. They were messy. And over the
years, we had all become used to the junk and the mess right in front of us.
But not that newcomer. Not that visitor. And not our saint. The old
collection of hangers stuck out like a sore thumb. And their presence
pointed to a church that did not care to pay attention to the details.
Thirty new hangers later, I have to agree that they look a lot better. They
match. And it shows a detail of care that matches the rest of the sanctuary.
The devil is always in the details, but I’m going to have to remember the
ministry of hangers and the insight of one of our saints. Because that’s how
we make people feel welcome.

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