This guest book assumes those signing it have a home church. But what happens when more and more people in our society are not church members, people who would have nothing to write in the "Home Church" column? Are we ready to welcome them into our midst?
I'm not sure.
If we assume that visitors have a home church, we assume that they already know how to "do" church … that is, we assume that they already know some of the basics – the Lord's Prayer, the creeds, manner of receiving communion, how to share the peace, when to stand up or sit down.
But what if someone walks in our doors not knowing much – or anything – about our faith and tradition? Are we prepared to show them our faith, our tradition, our God? How do we as communities of faith share that faith with newcomers to it? How do we open up our traditions to those who have never experienced them?
For better or worse this is not a problem most of our churches have to face, however, as those visitors who do walk through our doors usually have some church background, and likely have something to write in the "home church" column in our guest books.
Still, I wonder … what would the guest book look like in a church postured to welcome those completely new to the experience of church? Name, Address, and … what?