Welcome to my blog! I welcome you no matter your political ideology, sexual orientation, gender identify, faith/religion, race, sex, age, nationality, or immigration status. Before beginning my service year I completed an amazing week long training and orientation through the Young Adult Program. A similar statement was made and it really hit me.
Typically churches/organizations don’t make this statement however, all churches/organizations are welcoming, that is not to say that all people are welcome!
I believe that it is important to make a statement of who is welcome; either to a conversation that is being had or to a service. As a person who’s two biggest intersectionalities in life are my faith and sexual orientation this is an important statement. My past church experience (this was early 2000’s) was unsurprisingly terrible. My story is not uncommon, as sad as it is. What does make my experience slightly different is that I came back. I came back to the same welcoming and loving God however, I came back to a different community and church. Just like my last community/church they told me who was welcome…EVERYONE. This is important to myself, and I also know that it is important to folks who are not heterosexual or identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. I believe this welcome statement should be made by a church. If a person has not been welcomed in the past going back to church, particularly a new one, can seriously be a terrifying experience. This statement does not need to be a grand show you put on every Sunday prior to a service, although if you feel the spirit moves you in such a way then you do you. It can be a banner hung outside saying “All Are Welcome,” hand some flyers out/put up signs, put it in a bulletin, or some other way that people know this.
So frequently when you ask a non-church goer who goes to church you will get the response of the “righteous,” if that is the case those pews better be empty as well as the pulpit. Just gonna drop a classic here, “for all have sinned and fall short the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The House of God is meant for all; the right, the wrong, and the indifferent. It does not matter if you are white or a person of color, who you love, what gender you do or do not identify with.
What matters in my opinion is your love for God, people, and to the wonderment about the word and world of God.
Peace and Love,