Sunday, July 29, 2012

A real welcome!

I picked this up from Jon Acuff's blog page (Stuff Christians Like).  This is the sort of church that connects with people at a very deep level over time. 

What do you think?

Here's what “Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Community” prints in its church buletin as a way to let people know what they are all about: 

We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, yo no habla Ingles. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rail or could afford to lose a few pounds.

We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or like our pastor who can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woke up or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than the Pope, or haven’t been in church since little Joey’s Baptism.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like “organized religion,” we’ve been there too.

If you blew all your offering money at the dog track, you’re welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you!


Anonymous said...

Ain't diversity wonderful?

Anonymous said...

How about welcoming pedophiles, rapists,and murders?

Larry James said...

Anon 4:12, so, you see a limit to God's grace if a person is sincerely responsive to it? Really? Seriously?

Anonymous said...

Your Franciscan philosophy is slipping again

Larry James said...

Anon 8:40, no, to the contrary, it is showing itself very well. "Use words only when necessary," is the truth. When someone puts a limit on the grace of God, then words are needed to protect the broken against the self-assured, powerful. Jesus did it all the time.

Anonymous said...

So you would allow pedophiles at a Catholic service? I thought they were passed that?

Larry James said...

Anon 9:10, it is amazing how quickly some folks with a different worldview, when challenged, run to the extremes. Comparing pedophilia among priests to a welcoming fellowship where "people with a past have a place in God's future," as my friend John Siburt says, is absurd. But, you know that.

In such a case law enforcement intervenes, as would be true with murderers and rapists. Some immoral acts have legal consequences. I was speaking of welcoming folks who find no welcome in many churches. Big difference.

To refute me please compare apples to apples. Defend those churches who don't welcome the broken and damages and ruined.

Anonymous said...

One of the more powerful things I've read was a description of a group of welcoming, non-judgmental people who accepted people as they were, where they were, and sought to help them get better. When you started reading, you hoped you were reading about a church. But it was actually a description of an AA group. Of course, the point was that it should be describing church, but more often than not SNL's "Church Lady" is more accurate. Sounds like Our Lady of Lourdes gets it.