Our theme for September is “Welcome” and we are asked to consider what it means to be a people of welcome. Usually when we think of welcoming, we imagine taking more in, expanding our circle. Do we recognize, also, that welcoming involves right sizing our needs and putting our preferences second. Those of us who are white are learning that welcoming diversity can’t happen until we shrink and decenter our voices. Welcoming regularly involves the smallness of humility and willingness to listen and learn. Great spiritual leaders remind us that the key to feeling at home in the universe is seeing ourselves as a tiny but precious part of a greater whole. In the same way, downsizing and living simply allows us to welcome in more experience, adventure, and peace. As I consider my upcoming Sabbatical time, I am reminded that the sabbath is a time of humility. A time to consider the curious truth that by becoming smaller we are better able to welcome in and receive the gift of more.