Scott's Weekly Greeting, June 8, 2021 ...
A Yeti was spotted on the front lawn of the church today. He was pointing up at the heart that says, "Let us love one another." It was a surprising sighting because the yeti are typically found in colder climates. (Of course, it is not usually 90 degrees in Saco, Maine on a Tuesday in June.) The sighting also does make one wonder ... would a yeti be welcome in a church like First Parish?
Every Sunday, I say, "All are welcome here." Does that apply to a scary hairy beast?
Obviously, I am exaggerating the point. But it does beg the question ... what does it mean to welcome?
It is a question that every congregation needs to consider. Does "welcome" mean unlocking the doors and hoping that people will wander in? Or does it mean actively inviting them in? What does it mean once they are inside? Are we warm and friendly on the first day that they visit, and then return to 'business' as usual the following week? Or do we engage them and include them in our fellowship? Does is mean that we actively invite those who look like us, sound like us, dress like us, vote like us? Or does it mean that we include a diversity of voices and faces in our church family?
This week we will be celebrating PRIDE Sunday. It is a Sunday when we will celebrate those friends and neighbors that are often excluded, rejected and told that they do not belong. It is a Sunday that we will tell those who often feel unloved and unworthy that they are loved here and that they matter. It is a Sunday that we will dedicate ourselves to embodying that which say ... "ALL are welcome here!"
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072