We are continuing to seek feedback for our proposed welcoming statement. We have made some editorial changes to the original suggestion so that is now reads:
At Centralia First United Methodist Church, our mission statement is: “Christ’s eternal message of love calls us to nurture a sense of wholeness and possibility in everyone we meet.”
In keeping with that mission statement, and seeking to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we welcome all persons into the life of our congregation. Whatever your race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic reality, marital or family status, physical or mental ability, age, background, religious tradition, or political ideology, you are welcome at Centralia First United Methodist Church. We understand that no list is ever complete, but when we say all, we mean all. We covenant to be a safe haven to all who enter our fellowship.
Along with this, Larry Scott has suggested a shorter version that reads:
“We affirm that all people are of sacred worth. We seek to invite, and welcome, people of all ages, orientations, and identities, to share in the grace of Jesus Christ.”
Both these statements reflect the inclusivity that we are aspiring to in this congregation. One is slightly wordier than the other because some thought it necessary to not only include our mission statement, but to list as many of the things for which people have traditionally felt excluded from the fellowship of a church. The suggested wording from Larry Scott is succinct and to the point. It begins with a quote from the Book of Discipline (“…all persons are of sacred worth.”). Neither of these statements is to be a replacement for our mission statement, but rather an enhancement of it.
What more do you think we need to do in this process? Should we have a gathering in which individuals can share their feelings openly, similar to the Table Talk some of us attended in Olympia? I believe the importance of making this statement cannot be overstated. In our times, many people outside of the church view the church as being judgmental and condemning rather than inclusive and accepting. We need to let our community know who we are and what we stand for. I look forward to your comments. I’ll see you in church.
Sermon Texts, Themes, and Titles for June
We strive to make worship meaningful, relevant, and challenging each and every Sunday. You are challenged to make worship a regular part of your life. You are invited to take some time to read the Scripture and reflect on the passages before each worship service.
June 3rd: Overreaction! The Scripture passage will be Mark 2:23-3:6 and the theme will be compassion versus legalism.
June 10th: Our Ultimate Hope! The Scripture passage will be 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 and the theme will be our hope of eternal life.
June 17th: Marching Orders! The Scripture passage will be 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and the theme will be our ministry of reconciliation.
June 24th:Guest Preacher. Tom will be at Annual Conference on this Sunday.
July 1st: Double Prizes! The Scripture passage will be Mark 5:21-43 and the theme will be Jesus’ healing ministry.
Worship is a vital part of a growing and vibrant faith. So make sure you attend on a regular basis. And bring a friend or two with you. It’s a great way to introduce someone to Jesus