I returned today from visiting our two daughters: Sarah in Denver and Anna in Portland, Oregon. I was in Portland on Sunday so Anna and I walked the few blocks from her apartment to attend the First United Methodist Church.
I was delighted when I opened the bulletin and found this statement on a pamphlet insert: "As a Reconciling Congregation, members of this congregation have pledged to welcome and support all who want to worship with us, regardless of race, gender, class, or sexual orientation."
I know only two Reconciling Congregations in Indianapolis; and sadly, the church I attend is not one of them. Anna, 25, and Sarah 32, both "PKs" have seen many sides of the church. The comment I hear from them frequently is, "I don't like the organized church." Which always prompts their father to say, "What church is not organized?" Anyway, they note the seeming exclusivity of many mainline churches in the Midwest. Anna, however, said after this particular service, "I might come back to this church. I like it, and they include all."
I look forward to attending church when we travel because I am able to glimpse another section of the body of Christ and learn how ministry is interpreted and carried through. I, too, left that service on Sunday with the same thought as Anna. I would like to attend this church again. I do look forward to returning to Portland to see Anna and visit Portland First Church again.
God, I thank you for those churches who embrace all. Amen.