How We Welcome Matters

In preparation for a new Bible Study/devotional series that I am writing, I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about welcome. It is a core value for Christian communities to embrace because it was a critical component in the ministry of Jesus. Sharing hospitality with strangers, outcasts, tax collectors, sinners, and holy people alike was what Jesus did. Not only that, but our Lord invited his disciples to carry on in the tradition of sharing welcome. Over the years, we have been our best as church when we responded to the call to welcome. Sadly, we have been at our worse when we’ve closed doors and shut people out.

At last month’s meeting, St. James Council approved the opening of conversation surrounding a resolution about welcome statement for consideration at the Annual Meeting. The text of that resolution is as follows: Guided by the grace of God, as we live out our vision to build and deepen relationships with God, each other, and our neighbor,,St James welcomes all regardless of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, or socioeconomic status. Our Unity is in Christ.

Using the Unique Conversation format that we developed a few years ago, we will be discussing this draft resolution over the coming months. I hope that you can join us for one of the following discussions.

Tonight - Monday, October 7 7:00 - 8:30 pm.

Sunday, November 10 11:00-11:45 a.m.

A full presentation will be made of the resolution on Sunday, January 5 11:00 - 11:45 a.m.

I am optimistic about our conversations that they will be spirit-filled, fruitful, and help us by the Grace of God to further live into our vision to build and deepen loving relationships with God, each other, and our neighbors.

As always, I look forward to seeing you in worship,

In Christ’s Light,

Pastor Walt