An Early Announcement of A Workshop: Introduction to Hospitality

Central Woodward Christian Church is hosting, on behalf of the Hospitality Initiative, a workshop entitled “Introduction to Hospitality” on Saturday January 26, 2013. The workshop will be led by Olaf Lidums, Assistant Professor of Urban and Ecological Ministry at Ecumenical Theological Seminary. The three hour workshop will run from 9:00 AM to Noon. Below is a description of the workshop, which will be open to the congregation and larger community.

This workshop, one featured by lots of reflection and interaction by participants, highlights key features and dynamics of hospitality, the “essential core” of the world’s great wisdom traditions. At the heart rests the question, how does one treat and relate to the “stranger.”

We will touch on four central aspects and comprehensive perspectives on hospitality, with the goal being that the workshop’s “guests” will have a good initial understanding of what hospitality really means and how it bears on our lives.

The first central aspect – Philosophical – will present baseline understandings of what is involved in hospitality. We will touch on the contrasting opposite – hostility. Other key concepts will be touched on, such as the import of the human face, the “guest/host” interchange, the human experience of implacement versus dis-placement, and others.

The second central aspect – Psychological – will present baseline psychological aspects and dynamics that are interior features of hospitality. We will touch on intra-personal, emotional, attitudinal and transactional dynamics that operate in our practice of hospitality.

The third central aspect – Relational – will present baseline inter-personal, social and cultural aspects and dynamics that are part and parcel of hospitality. Key features will be touched on, such as inter-cultural practices regarding diversity, systemic facilitators and inhibitors, prevailing cultural narratives and discourse streams, and the centrality of listening.

The fourth central aspect – Spiritual – will present baseline aspects and dynamics of the faith dimension of hospitality. Key features will be touched on, such as emphases from major faith systems, the dynamics of “essentialism,” “pluralism” and “integral spirituality,” and how hospitality is an essential core of being fully functioning human beings.

This important workshop promises to be fun, engaging, meaningful and celebratory.