In Chapter 6, we move toward the margins. Pohl brings us up to speed on the historical migration of Christian practice from the margins, where it emerged, to the center - thank you Constantine! While the normalization of Christian practice is more complex than one post, one podcast, or one chapter can cover, Pohl helps us understand why the practice of sacred hospitality becomes more difficult when the practitioners are connected with social, political, and economic power.
In this chapter, we meet some model citizens who have used their social locations, their wealth, and their access to resources as a means of moving further into the margins and welcoming all kinds of strangers in the spirit of faithful hospitality. Some of the most notable are Fabiola, Olympias, and a name more familiar to most of us... Dorothy Day.
Each of these faithful women took their own economic securities and used them to offer "home" to strangers, refugees, and anyone who came seeking welcome. Their incredible stories cause us to wonder how we might use our lives and our resources to expand our welcome as a congregation and as individuals. What resources do we have that we might use to love and welcome strangers in need of refuge?
One additional (and necessary) piece of the chapter is that Pohl reminds us of the necessity to become marginal. A host cannot fully welcome another I the host is unfamiliar with marginality. Do you have any experiences of marginality or exclusion that might help you better host others?
To harken back to the previous chapter... How might we become "bridge people" who understand both the world of power and the world of disempowerment? Connectivity and disconnection? Centrality and marginality? Participation and exclusion?