In our Tuesday evening Dive service we have a "Community Statement" that goes like this;
"We are different people at different places in our faith journey, from different backgrounds and represent a multigenerational community that seeks God. We agree together not to make assumptions about the people across from us, next to us or who are in conversations with us. We will attempt to avoid offense and strive and challenge ourselves to ask the hard questions that push us out of our comfort zones. We do not assume fluency in the Bible, theology or Church language, because we affirm that the message of Jesus is not for Christianity but for all of humanity. Therefore, we do everything in the spirit of love, mercy and grace. At least we strive to."
While none of these ideas are new or groundbreaking, together they can give guidance to a community of faith that can shine the light of the Divine into a disjointed world. My desire is to foster a safe place for people to encounter God, no matter where they are in their faith journey. My desire is that people from different backgrounds and generations feel welcomed and accepted for who God has made them and that we can develop a diverse community of people who love Jesus. My desire is that we can enter into the hard conversations about faith, that make us feel uncomfortable and that we are able to do that without dividing between each other ideas. I desire all this for myself and for our church because the message of Christ is so compelling, so amazing, so divine and it needs to be told and shown to all. The message of Christ is not solely for the church, it is for all of humanity. We who are reconciled and in harmony with God must take up our roles as ministers of reconciliation and blaze a trail of love, mercy and grace into a world that is hurting and needy. Why? Because that is what God has done for us. May we remember the command Jesus gave during the last supper, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)