Two women embrace on Christmas Eve at Northshore Community Church

The Greatest Act of Hospitality

By Christina |

Derek and I have moved ten times in the thirteen years we have been married. Early in our marriage we did not attend church regularly, if at all. By the time we moved to Mississippi in 2010, we knew that we needed to get plugged in to a church because we both knew that was what was missing from our walk with the Lord, and we knew that would be what could strengthen our relationship, not only with Him but with one another. We found and loved our church there, then three years later moved to Florida, where we found our church home and got involved quickly.

Fast forward another three years when we moved to Washington, 2,700 miles away from “home.”  We researched and found Northshore before we even moved here. We watched online sermons and found that our beliefs lined up with the church’s, and we felt that Northshore would be the church home for us. We flew up to visit the Eastside, as we had never been here before, and attended church on a cold, wet, dreary (what we would later find out to be totally normal) January morning.

We researched and found Northshore before we even moved here.

As we were unloading our jet-lagged kiddos, my sweet daughter cheerfully yelled out at the first person she saw that we were visiting for the first time from Florida. The unknowing receiver of such news was Corky Swanson. What happened next was what Derek and I expressed to be the greatest act of hospitality and love that we have ever received as visitors to any church we had attended. Corky instantly swooped in and walked us straight to the Northshore Kid’s check-in desk. Once he helped us get checked in, he and Shirley walked us and the kids to their rooms and then invited us to sit next to them during the service.

In our conversation, they knew we would need the help of a realtor, so they introduced us to a member of our church who went above and beyond to help us find a rental. They also walked us over and introduced us to the pastor. They never left our sides; they loved on us and showed us what being the hands and feet of Jesus looked like! Derek and I already felt that Northshore was probably going to be our church home just from online research, but that sealed the deal!

I always had a love for greeting and welcoming people and believe my Southern roots lend to natural hospitality, but after that day I knew without a doubt that the Welcome Team was for me. I started volunteering as a greeter within a few months of moving here and well before I became a member. I want to have as many opportunities as possible to have an impact on guests who are new to Northshore or new to church in general.

I want to have as many opportunities as possible to have an impact on guests who are new to Northshore or new to church in general.

In terms of other ways to volunteer, I knew that Sunday mornings wouldn’t be enough. There has been such joy in my life and such an ease of transition here in our new home by being able to volunteer whenever I have an opportunity. Data entry has been an amazing way to help with the nuts and bolts of Northshore functioning. The Toy Shop last year was my first experience and, WOW, did it change my perspective on the holiday season. I find that the sermons on Sunday become more real to me by being intentional with my time and energy helping to serve the church in any way I can.

We went from consumers to contributors once we joined a year ago, and we feel so strongly that showing up and helping out whenever we can is vital to the health of the church. Imagine what lives we could change, what families we could bless, if we all shared a little extra of those talents and our time through serving in a volunteer role?

I am beyond grateful for Corky and Shirley and the sincere love of Jesus they showed us on that dreary Sunday morning. I just hope I can impact someone who walks through the doors of Northshore like they did for us.



If you’d like to volunteer for our Christmas Eve services, you can sign up HERE.


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