A note from Ausdin Lemmons

Megan and I just got back from a trip of a lifetime - we were in Turkey and Greece for almost a month! I am part Turkish. My grandma is actually from Turkey and it has been a life-long dream of mine to go there. Growing up my mom would always tell me that Turkish hospitality is like nothing else, and that when we visit they'll treat us like royalty.

My mom was right. Seeing my family in Turkey was like nothing I had ever experienced. They fed us, housed us, and took us wherever we want to go. Megan and I were absolutely blown away by the love and care they gave us. They even took us to Ephesus! We got to stay in their beautiful homes (one was a summer home on the Aegean Sea), and they made us the BEST homemade Turkish food. Honestly, it's still hard to eat regular food now that we're home after being so spoiled with that.

While we there Megan and I both said, this is radical hospitality and we’re so thankful that our church embodies that Christ-like characteristic. For example, our Sunday worship team regularly hosts guest worship leaders and musicians, and their biggest comment is always about how they are blown away but the amazing hospitality that Hope City has, and how they feel so welcomed. Each and every week ALL OF YOU contribute to making an environment where people feel welcomed and seen. Whether from greeting, kids ministry, security, worship/production, or even choosing to talk and connect with others you see on a Sunday - whether or not you volunteer.

Every week we have new people coming into our building, and maybe some of them feel like a foreigner in a new place initially, but Hope City (you) come with that incredible radical hospitality to make them feel known. I wanted to say thank you for that and tell you how grateful I am to be a part of this church! It makes me think the letter that Paul wrote to the church in the town of Ephesus (which fits perfectly because now that I’ve been there I am an expert, haha, just kidding). Ephesians 2:19-22 MSG says:

"That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home."

Let’s continue building that kingdom and lean into the radical hospitality that God is calling us to!

Teşekkürler görüşürüz ("Thanks and see you soon," in Turkish)

Ausdin Lemmons
Worship Pastor | Hope City Church