Have you ever wondered whether you would be welcome at a particular church? Unfortunately, you’re not alone. A lot of people have. Many of us didn’t know what to expect when we walked through the doors of our church the first time. But what we found kept us coming back.
We hear from a lot of people who wonder, “Would I be welcome at Community Congregational Church?” Many more probably never ask. So we wanted to go ahead and answer some of the questions we’ve already heard:
- Am I welcome if I’ve never been to church before? YES!
- If I’m a single parent? YES!
- If I don’t believe the earth was created in six 24 hour days? YES!
- If I’m divorced? Or if I’m divorced and remarried? YES!
- If I didn’t grow up in the United Church of Christ? YES!
- If I believe there is truth in science? YES!
- If English isn’t my first language? YES!
- If I’m gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, or I love someone who is? YES!
- If I’m in recovery from addiction? YES! If I like to read “Harry Potter”? YES!
- If my spouse/partner is of a different faith? YES! If I’ve never been baptized? YES!
- If I have small children? YES! If I take the Bible seriously, but not literally? YES!
- If I am a person with a disability? YES! If I believe all people are created equal? YES!
- If I drink alcohol? YES! If it’s been a while since I’ve been to church? YES!
- If I prefer classic rock to Christian rock? YES!
- If I don’t believe the Jesus was Christ? YES!
- If I vote for Democrats? Or Republicans? Or any other political party? YES!
- If I’ve made some big mistakes in my life? YES!
- If I can’t afford to put anything in the offering plate? YES!
- If I have doubts? YES!
- If I don’t believe in “God”? YES!
Our denomination, the United Church of Christ, has two sayings that we believe embody our welcome of all.
First, “Jesus didn’t reject anyone; neither do we.” And second, “No Matter Who You Are, Or Where You Are On Life’s Journey, you are welcome here.”
- We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, yo no habla Ingles.
- We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rail or could afford to lose a few pounds.
- We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or like our pastor who can’t carry a note in a bucket.
- You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woke up or just got out of jail.
- We don’t care if you’re more Prostestant than Martin Luther, or haven’t been in church since little Joey’s Baptism.
- We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast.
- We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters.
- We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted.
- We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like “organized religion,” we’ve been there too.
- If you blew all your offering money at the dog track, you’re welcome here.
- We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.
- We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both.
- We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake.
- We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you!
We don’t just say these things. We mean them.
Our welcome is unconditional, and open to all.
Join us on Sunday, and see for yourself.