I Believe Hospitality, Real Hospitality, Can Change the World, by Rev. Dani Loving Cartwright

I learned hospitality from Patsy Forbus.  She was like my second mother. She lived three houses down and knew me since the day I was born.  Her daughter was one of my best friends and we played between our houses almost every day.  Funny thing, we almost always ended up sitting around Patsy’s kitchen table, enjoying a little treat- a sip of water or (if we were lucky) a glass of Coca Cola- and talking about the day.  Patsy had this way of opening up that table to include as many of us as had stopped in.  There was always plenty; there was always a space; there was always time for her to sit and listen….really listen…to what we had to say and ask questions, and laugh with us, and talk through the stuff of childhood with us.  This comfortable, kidney-shaped table in the middle of her warm kitchen was just right for squeezing in and sitting close, and, making room for each one and paying attention to everyone. She taught us, in how she opened that space, that hospitality – real hospitality – provided comfort and calm and refreshment, even for our souls.

That kind of hospitality I learned at Patsy’s table was practiced, too, by a first-century Rabbi whose Table was wherever he was, and the “treat” whatever was there.  Loaves and fishes, or water and wine, he made a space so that those around him could be welcomed.   Space where they could be heard, ask questions, and listen as they found refreshment, even for their souls.

This has become the way I live. Making space for conversation around tables – some physical and some metaphorical- where sustenance and openness and welcome can be found.  Making a place- with a cup of coffee, or over a delicious meal, or sometimes simply the gift of time and space- where whoever is present can squeeze in, and share their story, experience comfort and calm, and be heard and be welcomed.

This I believe: real hospitality – “Gospel Hospitality”- is changing the world- one table at a time.

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GA TIB Dani CartwrightDani Loving Cartwright is a 5th-generation member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  As an alum of both TCU and Brite Divinity School, she bleeds purple! She has served the Christian Church (Disciples) as a congregational pastor, as a Regional minister, and now serves with the National Benevolent Association – the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as the Associate Vice President of Operations.   She is married to the Rev. David Cartwright and proud co-parent of the Rev. Douglass Anne Cartwright.  

I Believe Ice Cream has Curative Powers, by Rev. Justin Floyd

What do I believe? I believe that is a hard question. To sum up the fullness of ones beliefs into 300 words is a daunting task. As I process this prompt I am drawn to the idea of thinking that its a personal creed statement and that rubs me the wrong way seeing as how I am part of a denomination that does not use creeds. Instead, I try to think of it as a mission statement or a visioning exercise. What would I need to believe in order to make the world the best possible place? What do I need to believe in to make my life and the lives of my family successful?

I believe that the world is inherently good. I believe that God loves us and works in the world to make it good. I believe that humanity has taken its foolishness to historical high levels in recent years and that keeps the world exciting albeit frustrating and depressing. I believe that the smile of a baby and the hug from a child can change your day instantly. I believe, through years of youth ministry research, that  ice cream has curative powers and that frozen yogurt must have been present at the last supper.

Lastly, I believe this with all of my heart: If all we did devote our time, energy, money, and passion to making the world a better place, we could live in the world that Jesus spoke about. We would love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and our strength and we would truly be able to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.

For me to achieve this, I believe that I need more time in prayer and less time in work. I believe that I need more music in my day and fewer e-mails. I believe I need more beach and less highway. I believe that I stand in my own way and blame others on the regular and that needs to stop now. I believe that all these things are possible through the one who gives me strength.

And because I believe in the power of throwing good vibes into the universe, I believe that TCU football will win a national championship, the Texas Rangers will eventually win a World Series and that one day the Dallas Cowboys will hold the Lombardi trophy and we will all toast to the memories. I believe it can’t hurt to put that in writing.

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GA TIB Book Justin Floyd

Rev. Justin Floyd is currently serving as the Youth Minister at First Christian Church of North Hollywood. Justin graduated from TCU in 2010 with a degree in Religion and Sociology. While at TCU, Justin served as president of the Disciples on Campus program. He stands behind his statement that TCU will win a football national championship and he will be in the stands to watch it.