An Amazing Welcome

Quinn CaldwellQuinn Caldwell is the pastor of Plymouth Congregation Church (Syracuse, NY) and a member of the United Church of Christ Stillspeaking Writers’ Group.  A few years ago when he was serving at Old South Church (Boston, MA),  he wrote about the welcome that church provides to all:

In the name of Jesus Christ, and through his spirit, we bid you welcome to Old South Church in Boston, an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ.

You are welcome here if you are married, or if you are single,
for we will partner with you.

You are welcome here if you are a parent, or the child of one,
for we will be a family to you.

You are welcome here if you know what you believe,
and you are welcome if you have no idea what to believe,
for we will share our faith.

You are welcome here if you love people whose bodies look like yours,
or if you love people whose bodies are different,
for here, we are all the body of Christ.

You are welcome here if your people are from this place, or from far away,
for our God is both here and everywhere.

You are welcome here if you are a saint, or a sinner,
for God knows we are all of us both.

No matter who you are,
no matter where you are on life’s journey,
you are welcome here.

So What?

This is the kind of welcome I want to receive at any church I visit.  I want to know that whether or not I look like the majority of those present or whether or not my prior experiences are similar to theirs, they genuinely are appreciative of my presence and will welcome me in worship and into the full life of the congregation.

  • Is it the sort of welcome your congregation offers?
  • How committed is your local parish to each of the promises offered in italics?

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