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The Welcoming Church

Recently I was among friends and newcomers when the topic of our church came up.

One of the newcomers remarked that a friend had said to him, “well ucc in simi sure has the market on being the gay church.”

We all smiled, and some chuckled. No one said anything about it and the conversation moved on.

Then, after several minutes, an elder in the group asked if she could make a comment about the gay church? Everyone agreed, yes, so she said,

"I attend UCC in Simi. While I appreciate that the remark about us being ‘the gay church" was probably said without malice, I would hope that if anyone here now ever hears that being said again, that you speak up and say, "Well no, UCC in Simi is not "THE" gay church; it is THE welcoming church."

We all smiled, and some chuckled. No one said anything about it and the conversation moved on.

The welcoming church. I like that.
My church is the welcoming church.

Too, while we are also an *open and affirming church, and while we are certainly welcoming to all, and we are also as individuals faithful to our own conscience, we are not allowed per church doctrine to say we are officially *”Faithful and Welcoming.”

Funny that, but still..


Words do matter

wait…

surely the spirit  of the words matter more— at least, to me.

So socially, surely as members of UCC we can say socially, as well as theologically, in safety and in surety,  say to friends and newcomers that

"our church, UCC Simi, is the welcoming church,"

even though legally or doctrinally we just may not be able to say that from the pulpit.

Do I hear an Amen?

(and the congregation sighed,

Awomen)


~ @guyatree
140718_1402

*reference source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_and_affirming

Filed under open and affirming welcoming and faithful ucc uccsimi.com word and spirit hearing and listening gay straight lesbian transgender

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"Essentially, they want to be allowed to continue to accept money from the federal government..."

" The theme of the July 1 letter "[to POTUS from 70 voices of religious recepients of federal funds ] "is that while no one likes prejudice — "We agree that banning discrimination is a good thing,’ the authors state generously — there’s a time and place for everything. And this may not be the time and place to force religious organizations to accept LGBT equality, because it might make them very uncomfortable. And you don’t want to make charitable people uncomfortable…"

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A church dies each day the party line replaces loving welcome

Fear of change strengthens chains

"… t seems that churches and church-affiliated organizations have a difficult time offering extravagant welcome to those who stand outside of what is believed to be the sanctioned party line of their particular tribe. This week, I was dismayed to learn that my alma mater a Christian college had signed on to a letter supporting a religious exemption to the forthcoming federal regulations banning anti-gay discrimination. Now, this school is a theologically conservative place, but when I was a student there, I also saw it as a welcoming place and a place open to entertaining ideas and welcoming those who did not completely fit into the "conservative Christian college" mold. They were open to allowing students to think for themselves and make up their own minds. Times have changed and the boundaries have been drawn tighter. The welcome has become conditional polarization reigns. And this has not only happened in conservative circles."

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