It’s been a minute since I wrote an update. Recently I spoke at Creation and the City of God Consultation sponsored by Global Ministries on the topic of inclusion. Inclusion is one of those hot topics within the United Methodist Church these days because it can be defined in so many ways. Defined in terms of race, gender, ability and sexuality. All of these are labels that to often we frequently use it as a way to categorize and seperate others to our liking although Christ’s teachings tell us the oposite. It is not the role of the church to exclude but rather to include people regardless of the label a person uses to define identity and location within the church or the world as parish throughout the globe.
In other news in terms of what’s up I listened to a sermon today about healing as part of sermon series categorized as living resurrection using Mark 5 v. 24-34 as the text. The sermon was preached by Rev. Amy Roon, one of the pastors at University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle, Washington. The sermon reminded me of a conversation I recently had with my fiance about just what is missing from the church as we know it. We discussed hospitality, just what that looks like, and who can and should spread The Word of Christ and lead congregations. We talked about ableism and apologies. Too often its not an apology that is needed but rather courage to step out to be oneself. To live out the resurrection is that healing is outward love not that we should opress others because they are different from those in the crowd but instead we should embrace all despite their labels or identity.
How do you define hospitality? How do you live out the resurrection? Is hospitality evident when everyone in your congregation looks the same? Is hospitality evident when congregants come as they are? What about how guests feel when visiting? Do you accept testimonies different than your own? What about when someone steps forward with boldness such as the woman mentioned in the text?
The same questions come to light when attending conferences. What is the panel like? Does the keynote’s message truly align with the topic at hand.