Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Inclusive" and "down to Earth"

Justin liked the Vision and Mission statement of Christ Episcopal Church, which includes: Respecting the dignity of every human being and Fostering an inclusive community.

I liked that there were quotations about baptism "for your consideration," including Martin Luther from the Large Catechism, "Baptism is valid, even though faith be wanting. For my faith does not make baptism, but receives it."

We both liked the attitude toward the congregants--the almost 2-year-old who was being baptized kept wandering up to the altar and the Pastor said he was welcome. The passing of the peace was recess, with the Pastor one of the last to finish greeting everyone in the congregation with a handshake or hug.

The sermon was about The Gospel reading, Matthew 22:1-14, where the king invites a bunch of people to a wedding banquet but they don't come, and then he invites everyone and someone doesn't don a wedding robe and he is kicked out because he isn't dressed well. The pastor said that the guy who gets kicked out is the guy who is most like the kingdom of heaven--you know, everyone welcome, no matter what you're wearing. He even put it in the context of more text, which I find comforting because it shows the Pastor is considering the full text, not just the reading of the day as excerpted in the book.

Afterward, Justin filled out the informational sheet and turned it in, saying we would return. We even went to the patio to have coffee and meet people. That's where one person said she had been going to this church for two years and liked it because it was really down to Earth and after a while when you got to know people it was like a family, not like a big church where sometimes you get lost. Another man from a young couple said he liked the inclusiveness.

Justin and I walked home along the beach saying we'd had a nice morning. We held hands.

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