A cordial congregation.

I attended an event at a Congregational church last month and came across this card in the pews.

Church of the Cordial

Isn’t this just perfectly New England?

Not a warm welcome. Not a heartfelt welcome. But a cordial welcome.

Ok, I know cordial means technically friendly, but it has a more frosty connotation too. It’s polite but reserved. “You can come in but don’t get too comfortable because we don’t know you yet.”

That’s exactly what most true Vermonters are thinking when they meet someone new.

Or maybe it’s denominational thing, not regional.

Would a Catholic church with its fancy stained glass, incense and Latin offer a cordial welcome? An extravagant or lavish welcome, maybe. But never just cordial.

Nor would a liberal, crunchy, kumbaya-singing congregation offer a cordial greeting. Effusive and enthusiastic would be more their style.

But the good old Congregationalists are simply cordial.

Whether it’s because the church is in Vermont or because of its denomination, I like it. I don’t want all that overly friendly, touchy-feely, hug your neighbor crap when I visit a church.

Cordial works for me.


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