United Methodist Communications shares ideas to help churches put out the welcome mat in meaningful and constructive ways:
1. Don’t just take the family a meal the first week and then forget about them.
2. Coordinate a team of volunteers to help with unpacking boxes, providing transportation, running errands, providing meals and stocking the house with groceries and cleaning supplies.
3. Be attentive to their personal needs. Give them a list with the name and phone numbers of grocery stores, plumbers, drycleaners, wallpaper hangers, painters, repair people and babysitters.
4. Give a pastor and family gift certificates for home improvement stores, restaurants, bookstores, magazine subscriptions, movie theaters and entertainment venues.
5. Perform random acts of kindness like washing their car(s), offering to babysit, giving them rides (they may not know their way around) and running errands.
6. Invite them to participate in fun activities like church parties, informal dinners and events in which they might not normally expect to be included.
7. Give them a call, send them an email, drop them a note — without an agenda. Don’t write criticism, but affirm them. Be an encourager.
8. Give them permission to take time to rest and get settled in.
9. If possible, provide a place for a little R&R — perhaps someone in the congregation can offer a weekend home or a guesthouse for a brief retreat.
Justmoved.org also offers Christ-centered books and materials related to moving, as well as a weekly Words of Encouragement email, a newsletter to encourage women in transition, a prayer support team, resources, devotionals, tips and encouragement for the mover.
Read the original post on UMCom's website: http://www.umcom.org/learn/tips-to-help-pastors-and-families-on-the-move