We welcome YOU!
Several people have asked for a copy of the two welcome statements I referred to in my sermon on Sunday. Here they are! What’s missing from these? What would a good welcome statement for Grace Church look like?
We welcome soccer dads, hockey moms, starving artists, tree-huggers, drivers of gas guzzlers, vegetarians and bacon lovers. Welcome to those with crying newborns, those who avoid children at all costs, dog lovers or those who prefer ferrets. We extend a welcome to those who are single, married, widowed, divorced, gay or straight. This faith community has people with much and people with just enough and a whole bunch in between; you will find a welcome here no matter what you won. We welcome you if you sing like Pavarotti or can’t carry a tune to save your like. You are welcome if you are “just browsing”, just woke up or just got out of jail. If you blew all your money on bingo, you are welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those who work too hard, hardly work at all, can’t spell, correct other’s grammar or came here today because grandma’s in town and made you come to church. Are you pierced or inked? Yep, you are welcome. Need prayer right now, don’t like organized religion, are down in the dumps or got lost in traffic and just wound up here? You betcha – you are welcome, too. We welcome seekers, doubters and those with years of faith experience, and we welcome…YOU! In short – or not so short – we welcome everyone to get to know this faith community. Because we all need community. We all need support, and faith carries us along the journey. We all have questions and we all need (and have!) the love of God. So…thank you for joining us today!
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Edina MN
No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here:
If you are young or old, you are welcome
If you have brown skin, black skin, white skin, or any color of skin, you are welcome
If you are married or single, you are welcome
If you are gay or straight, you are welcome
If you are transgender, you are welcome
If you are a man or a woman, you are welcome
If you cannot hear or see, you are welcome
If you are sick or well, you are welcome
If you are happy or sad, you are welcome
If you are rich or poor, powerful or weak, you are welcome
If you believe in God some of the time or none of the time or all of the time, you are welcome
You are welcome here
Come with your gifts, your pain, your hope, your fears
Come with the traditions that have helped you and hurt you
Come with your experiences that have made you and broken you
Come with a mind, ready to engage, and a heart, open to discern
Come and listen for the Sacred Spirit that calls you to love your neighbor wholeheartedly, seek justice, create peace and practice compassion
You are welcome here!
+ Adapted from a welcome by Gordon Brown, published in Shaping Sanctuary
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