Aside

Dear Friends,

In our MissionStatement we proclaim that “all are welcome” in this parish! It’s a great challenge to take those words that we read before Mass and live them each day! This might be a great way to start the conversation about how we become a truly welcoming community. Just think about the great diversity in this parish. What a great gift our diversity is!

This was an special welcome announcement at All Saints Lutherean Church in Aurora, Colorado. I thought that it might generate some conversation and personal reflection. 

“All are welcome! We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, fifthly rich, dirt poor, y no habla ingles. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rail, or could afford to lose a few pounds.

We welcome you, if you sing like Andrea Bocelli or like our pastor who can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if your’re just browsing, just woke up, or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Catolic than the Pope,or haven’t been in church since little Joe’s baptism.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk food eaters.

We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems,or you’re down in the dumps,or if you don’t like “organized religion,” we’ve been there too.If you blew all your offering money at the casino, you’re welcome here.

We offer a special welcome to those who think that the earth is flat, who work hard, don’t work, can’t spell,or come because grandma is in town and wanted and wanted to go to church. We welcome those who are inked, pierced,or both.

We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid, got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers, doubters, bleeding hearts…and you! All are welcome!”

Peace,

Fr. Steve

Are all truly welcome?

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