Are All Welcome?
As Bryn Mawr begins this weekly blog posting series, admittedly there will be some breaks in the series. My goal with this blog is to address the most pressing and important issues of the Church at large. To begin to engage the most commonly asked questions.
I believe that the largest challenge we have as a congregation and as the Church in general is to change certain perceptions which go against who we really want to become. Relevant Magazine had these enlightening statistics to share from their Tenth Anniversary Edition:
When non-Christians aged 16 to 29 years old were asked, “What is your current perception of Christianity?” here’s how they responded:
75% too involved in politics
70% out of touch with reality
70% insensitive to others
I do not know how Relevant did this survey, but I would assume that it was a multiple choice type of survey which would have skewed the results, none the less these statistics are eye opening to say the least.
So a majority of 16-29 year olds perceive the Christian Church as being anti-homosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, old-fashioned, too involved in politics, out of touch with reality, and insensitive to others.
Bryn Mawr is just one small congregation, but we can do our part to live into being a grace filled congregation which is great at being hospitable to all people at all times.
I know that as a pastor of this congregation I have witnessed a group of people who has done a good job of being welcoming to people no matter their sexuality or gender identification. To be slow to judge and quick to admit we are as sinful as the next person.
We are not perfect and we certainly have room to grow into being a congregation where all people from age 101 to 1 feel welcomed and safe to participate in the life of the church. Undoubtedly there will be growing pains, but in time and by the grace of God we’ll become a place known for being filled by the presence of the Holy Spirit who is quick to love and abounding in steadfast mercy.
This is a great challenge, but that’s why we’re here and this is who we’re called to be. It’s not about creating fantastic programs or having the best looking building, but it is about being people who are very quick to love others rather than to be quick to judge others.
We hope you’ll stop by and visit us during worship sometime or contact us with any questions you might have. We love visitors and hope you’ll become a new friend as we mean it when we say: All Are Welcome!