Graciousness in our Language

Deacon, Discipleship, Faith, Grace, Newsletter, Welcoming
Part of my morning routine is to read a daily devotion from Father Richard Rohr.  One devotion in particular, featuring excepts from Howard Thurman, has stuck with me.  Thurman was an African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, and civil rights leader. As a prominent religious figure, he played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century. What I found most enlightening amid the very thought provoking writing, was a footnote.  It read: A note on language from Thurman’s editors: “We realize that inclusive language is noticeably absent in Howard Thurman’s writings. As gifted and prophetic as he was, Thurman was also a product of his times, and inclusive language was not a part of the social consciousness. Regardless of language, the substance of Thurman’s work…
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Friendly vs. Welcoming

Deacon, Newsletter, Welcoming
Did you know that there is a difference between being a Friendly Congregation and a Welcoming Congregation? For some, it might just be semantics but others will point out the difference. Almost every congregation is friendly. Friendly is sharing feelings with those you already know. It is pretty easy to be warm and accepting to the people you already know or with whom you have some connection. If you look, act, dress, and speak like me, it is easier to be friendly. Our Guiding Principles do not state that we strive to be a friendly congregation. They state that we will be an Inviting Community, Welcoming Everyone. Welcome goes beyond opening up to those we know or who share a lot of similarities. Welcome is sharing hospitality with a stranger…
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