My Two Cents
July 14, 2019, 12:00 AM

Anyone remember June of 2017? That was when our congregation  approved the welcome statement now printed each week in our order of worship and proudly displayed on our website. We were and are “An Open and Affirming Congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)”.

 

Which is great! But up until this week there was one more thing left to do. We needed to send information to the Disciples LGBTQ Alliance so we could be included on the registry of Open and Affirming Congregations. Inclusion in this registry would ensure that folks looking for both a Disciples congregation AND one that is Open and Affirming would find US! We had everything we needed...with the exception of one policy document- an Equal Employment Opportunity statement indicating we are willing to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to inclusion. Last January this statement was adopted by our board:

 

“Christian Temple, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Catonsville, Maryland embraces its commitment to being an equal opportunity employer in its history and continued practice of non-discrimination on any basis, including race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, and marital status. We find our strength to be in our diverse makeup. We apply this approach and belief in all that we do, including the support, supervision and evaluation of our staff.”

 

So, there you have it folks. We did it! Or did we?

 

Some would say that we are never "there" when it comes to inclusion. In fact, the minute we think we are there our welcome begins to suffer. Being Open and Affirming means more than just saying we are welcoming of all people. It also means that we see the work of deepening our welcome as a constant priority.

 

And so, on this Sunday, when we get to hear again Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, we have the blessed opportunity to imagine what it feels like to be that man who fell among the robbers, beaten down and cast aside. That man will always be laying on the side of some road in our lives. And we are called to be the ones to see him, offer healing to her, and then go the extra mile to welcome them into our lives. 

 

Speaking of welcome, WELCOME TO WORSHIP!