At a meeting today those present were asked to draw a card and respond to it.

My card had this question:  What blessing do you want to be a part of sharing?

My answer?  Welcome.  I want to be a part of a movement that shares the blessing of welcome.

My answer was prompted by two recent blessings I experienced.  One was the Freedom to Marry rally at the State Capitol.  There were hundreds of God’s children of faith gathered to speak about and respond to a vision of welcome to full participation in all facets of life, including the welcome to name sacred and covenanted relationships “marriage”.  The rainbow of beauty and heart in that rotunda lights my heart yet.

Last Sunday at church we held a luncheon for new and prospective members.  Gathered in the room were people ranging in age from their teens to their eighties.  There were same-gender-loving couples making life together seeking faith home to grow in and raise their babies in.

We ate and talked and shared and at the end, we stood in a circle, hands clasped, and I asked them to share what it is they are seeking as they throw in their lot with Richfield UMC.

Their answers move me yet.  They are seeking community, Jesus, and the people of Jesus who will move beyond the walls of the church and into the heart of the community with welcome.

Jesus invites all who are weary and heavy burdened to hitch themselves to the Holy and to Christian community in such a way that broken hearts mend and lives are transformed.

It turns out that our new members believe that through our church, they have found partners to help them plow the fields of their lives.  They welcome the yoke and the opportunity to experience and share the vision of Jesus.

Sometimes the gifting of parish ministry is profoundly humbling.  To welcome into our fold others willing to name their hunger and hope is amazing grace.

It is sacred trust, this building of the Body.

All are welcome.

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