Monday, February 7, 2011

A Welcoming Statement

The St. Paul’s statement of welcome—“the most welcoming congregation in the South Hills for all generations”—that now adorns every piece of paper coming out of the church office has always struck me as devoid of any theological moorings. Replace “congregation” with “supermarket,” “bowling alley,” or “brothel” and the slogan works equally well, albeit for a different sort of enterprise.

What made me think of the St. Paul’s tag line—I generally try to think of it as little as possible—was a brief e-mail message from the Rev. Bosco Peters, a clergyman in New Zealand. In a blog post, Peters mentioned the “covenant” declared by a local Presbyterian church:
We covenant to respect the diversity of belief among ourselves as together we grow in understanding of God and of our own lives.

Respect means that we will surround the other person with appreciation, seek to understand their point of view, and allow them to disagree.

This is the sort of Church we hope to be.

Feel welcome to join us!
Now, that is a welcoming church!

No comments: