Paul in writing to the Romans says: “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality.” (Romans 12: 9-13) The writer of Hebrews reminds us in chapter 13:2 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
We are called throughout the Bible to practice hospitality with one another and with strangers. We do this in a variety of ways. The Evangelism committee has been sending out postcards to our neighbors to invite them to various events at the church. Mark Ball has had more recitals and concerts hosted here so people can enter into our space and hopefully be drawn back. We have worked to publicize events on Facebook to help spread the word to friends of friends about what goes on at Southminster.
As part of reaching out to people, the Session voted in April to add a statement of inclusion to the bulletin and to our electronic communications.
Southminster Presbyterian Church welcomes and celebrates the human diversity and unity that God gives us in Christ. We welcome individuals of every age, race or ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identification or expression, ability, sexual orientation, and economic circumstance to participate fully in the life of the church.
Southminster is a member congregation of the PC (USA) and is affiliated with More Light Presbyterians.
For some people this statement may seem obvious. Of course we welcome anyone who comes. But for someone who is looking for a church, particularly if you have felt excluded by the church or by others in society, it can be comforting to read a statement like this to know you can find welcome. It is also a reminder to all of us that we are called to welcome all of God’s children to join us in ministry in the name of Jesus Christ. May we all strive to live out the welcome that Christ gave to all those he met and welcome everyone who comes.
Grace, Mercy and Peace