Last night a group of us shared some fine time.

Those gathered are people who summoned the courage to enter the doors of our church for the first time.  They came in the door, decided that they might find meaning in our midst, and have decided to join their lot with ours.

Every time I meet with prospective new members I am moved by wonder.  Truly, taking membership vows represents a longing for community and communion that is no small thing.

We talked about what it was that prompted them to walk through the doors for the first time, and we asked about what it is they are seeking.  We barraged them with the requisite information but really, what we sought to do was listen for the story of the Holy that walks in their being as we invite them to  enter a community seeking to live and name transformational possibilities.

They are a wise and diverse lot.  They named their awareness that the church is so very much more than the pastor.  They have sniffed around our being and decided that at RUMC, they may find a safe place to grow in their relationship with the Holy and those the Holy has created – even themselves.

This thing called “church” is no easy thing.  We challenge ourselves to learn about what Jesus taught and put that teaching into the living of our days.  It is messy and demanding work.  When we take membership vows we agree that we will live together in community and we know that sometimes it feels like we live in one of those rock tumblers:  we get swirled around in the grit of others and sometimes we allow that bumping to polish us into something unknown even to our own imaginings.

To those who follow soul rumblings into community, I say “welcome”.  We need your grit in order to shine in ways that make for grace in the world.

Welcome indeed.


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