How to Become a Welcome Community

Welcoming means accepting people as they are, and inviting them to participate in activities in ways that help them to live fully. The resources that follow are examples of welcome in different faith traditions.

Baha’i Resources:, a website by the Baha’i Community of Canada. This brief website lists other websites relevant to the community-focused, academic, and devotional activities of Baha’i worshippers, both in Canada and internationally., a website by the Baha’i Community of Canada. This fascinating website contains links to videos about members of Baha’i communities in Ontario and Quebec, especially those who were part of an international Baha’i youth conference in 2013.

Buddhist Resources:, a website furnished by the Bhante Dhammika, an Australian teacher of Nilambe meditation. The website is divided alphabetically, and further distinguished by subject-headings; the article on “Hospitality” offers specific scriptural references from the Tipitaka, one of the chronicles of the Buddha’s life, concerning ways to welcome others with food ad lodging.

Andy Rotman, “Buddhism and Hospitality: Expecting the Unexpected ad Acting Virtuously,”  a resource provided by Smith College. Rotman examines the meaning of the word translated from Sanskrit as “hospitality” both theologically and in terms of Buddhist scriptural narratives about entertaining guests.

Christian Resources:

That All May Worship: an Interfaith Welcome to People with Disabilities,  a resource by the American Association of People with Disabilities. This PDF outlines attitudes towards disability in American faith-based contexts (primarily Christian churches), explores ways that congregations can be hospitable towards and welcome people with disabilities, and examines the necessity of caring for the caregivers of people with disabilities.

Guiding Principles & Strategies for Inclusion in the Liturgy of Catholics with Disabilities,” these guiding principles are provided for Pastors, Liturgists, Parish Advocates, Liturgy Planners, Designers, Architects, and all those who have a concern for the design of the worship space and the planning of liturgical celebrations. They are provided for the purpose of assuring that all members of the worshiping community are able to participate fully in the worship life of their parishes and also to insure that all who are appropriately qualified can fully participate in the various liturgical ministries.

Everybody Belongs, Serving Together. A resource by the Christian Reformed Church in North America. This resource looks carefully at physical, intellectual, and emotional disabilities, and describes the central place of relationship in caring for people with disabilities. It outlines some disability etiquette, offers strategies to befriend and welcome people with various disabilities, emphasizes caring for caregivers, and illustrates the significance of calling disability advocates in the church context. It also includes an accessibility audit.”

Hindu Resources:

The Art of Hospitality in Hindu Life, a resource by Vishnu Mandir, a Hindu temple in Richmond Hill. This short pamphlet narrates specific stories of hospitality in Hindu contexts, describes how to be both a good guest and a good host, and compares and contrasts Hindu hospitality to Western notions of hospitality.

Heart of Hinduism: Hospitality.” A resource prepared by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness. This webpage, part of a larger site full of resources on Hinduism, offers a concise definition of hospitality, as well as links to stories related to guests and hosts, scriptural passages, and questions for personal reflection.

Islamic Resources:

What are the examples of Muslim hospitality?” A resource created by Quora. On this brief but helpful webpage, the author lays out some of the essential parts of a theology of hospitality for Muslims.

Aisha Stacey, “Treating Guests the Islamic Way,” a resource provided by In this short blog-post, Stacey notes the “triangular” relationship of hospitality among God, the guest, and the host, and finds scriptural evidence for that relationship in the Qur’an and hadith about welcome.

Jewish Resources:

The Centrality of Hospitality to Judaism,” a resource created by the Morasha Syllabus, an introductory course to Judaism. This dense text with facing-page English and Hebrew translations examines the Jewish Law to demonstrate the value of hospitality in Jewish life; the unique blessing of hospitality to guests; the components of hosting; educating children in hosting; and the extraordinary blessing one offers by escorting guests out of the house.

Mark Greenspan, “The Impact of Kindness,” a resource-sheet by the Rabbinical Community, offers rabbinic commentary on Genesis 18 (Abraham’s visit by the three angels at Mamre), and examines how Abraham’s character issues in his actions.

Sikh Resources:, a website by the Sikh Coalition. This useful website describes the cultural and religious aspects of Sikhism, explores the Sikh commitment to justice for all people, and offers people in distress legal recourse.

Punjab Culture: Hospitality,” in this short article, provided by, the author defines hospitality as a central characteristic of Sikhs generally, and of Punjabi peoples in particular.  

Poster for Gurdwaras. “Becoming a Welcoming Community Values of the Sikh Community.” Created by Guneet Daid. Becoming a Welcoming Community

This poster was designed to present important values of the Sikh religion that inspire the Sikh community to commit to the inclusion of people with disabilities within the community. Three Sikh values are discussed in this poster that encourages the community to improving accessibility and engagement in meaningful religious activities. This poster can be printed and put up in the community to signify that the community considers the inclusion of people with disabilities as important or it can be uploaded to the faith community website if one exists. Becoming a Welcoming Community

Other Resources:

Why Focus on Welcoming? a resource by Community Activators

Choosing a Welcoming Orientation, a resource by Community Activators

Principles for Creating Hospitality in Communities, a resource by Community Activators

DeYoung, Terry A. and Mark Stephenson. Inclusion Handbook: Everybody Belongs, Everybody Serves. New York: Christian Reformed Press, 2013, a resource by the Christian Reformed Church.

Gift-Based Ways to Help Others, a resource by Community Activators.

The Art of Listening, a resource by Community Activators.

The Significance of Storytelling, a resource by Community Activators.

Gift-Based Ways to Help Others, a resource by Community Activators.

The Art of Listening, a resource by Community Activators.

The Significance of Storytelling, a resource by Community Activators.