Thursday, January 30, 2014

All are Welcome

In multiple sermons I've preached on the importance of All are Welcome.  I've tied it into gospel readings, Old Testament readings, New Testament readings and the Baptismal Covenant.  I've tied it to evangelism and hospitality.

It was also the main focus of my Annual Meeting Address -- putting forth the claim that we need to live into the ethos our sign proclaims (All are Welcome) and putting forth the challenge of honestly examining whether or not this congregation is willing to take that radical step.

And then I read this today:

The Episcopal Church has been clear about our expectation that every member of the LGBT community is entitled to the same respect and dignity as any other member of the human family.  Our advocacy for oppressed minorities has been vocal and sustained.  The current attempts to criminalize LGBT persons and their supporters are the latest in a series, each stage of which has been condemned by this Church, as well as many other religious communities and nations.  Our advocacy work continues to build support for the full human rights and dignity of all persons, irrespective of gender, race, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability or inability.  To do less is effectively to repudiate our membership in the human community.  No one of God’s children is worth less or more than another; none is to be discriminated against because of the way in which she or he has been created.  Our common task is to build a society of justice for all, without which there will never be peace on earth. Episcopalians claim that our part in God’s mission is to love God fully, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  That means all our neighbors.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Yep . . . All means all, y'all.


Lady Anne | 7:49 PM, January 30, 2014  

In all honesty, the all-embracing love of the Episcopal church is one of the many things I like about it. Having grown up in a "Worm-Food Theology" atmosphere, it is so liberating to be able to invite *anybody* to our church and know they will be welcome. Several members of our parish are gay, and when the announcement was made that there would be a wedding, the only comment was from a little old lady, who wanted to know if the couple was registered anyplace!

Patience | 9:54 PM, January 30, 2014  

Oh heck yes. You know, I spent the first week after joining the local Episcopal church wondering where the catch was? At what point were they going to gently point out that I was too androgynous, too butch, too forward, too young, too bi, too... whatever?

It still surprises me sometimes how enthusiastically loving and welcoming this church is; All Are Welcome turns out to be the most radical doctrine I've ever experienced.

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