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July 21, 2015, 12:00 AM

Who Is Welcome Here?



You are welcome if you are single, married, divorced, widowed, straight, gay, trans, or confused. You're welcome if you are filthy rich, but just as welcome if you are dirt poor. If you are black, white, red, brown, yellow or black and blue, you are welcome and you will be safe with us.  We extend a special welcome to crying babies and the parents who worry about them. You’re welcome if you are homies, newbies, or nomads.


We welcome you if you can sing like an angel or can’t carry a note in a  very large bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re ‘just browsing,’  or just got out of prison or rehab. You're welcome if you’re more religious than the Pope or haven’t been in church since you were a bridesmaid, groomsman, or a pallbearer.


We welcome soccer moms, football dads, starving artists, Cardinal fans, Cub fans, NASCAR  enthusiasts,  opera aficionados, Trekkies, rockers, rednecks, vegans and junk-food junkies.  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 have issues with ‘organized religion.’ (Don't worry, we can be pretty disorganized.)


If you blew your wad at the casino, or came because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church you’re welcome here, along with those who work too hard, don’t work or can't work,.


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  and are afraid you might choke. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, the wounded and wondering.


And if we haven't named your issue, yet...well, you're still welcome here, because we all have them.


We're here because we believe God loves us, even if we have trouble loving ourselves.  We are loved even with all our differences, issues, faults and foibles.  The church is a place where imperfect people encounter and are transformed by the perfect love of God, as shown to us by Jesus Christ. That means we're in no position to reject you because of your imperfections or differences.  Jesus didn't and wouldn't do that.  Who are we, to disagree with him???

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