I feel very welcome at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

I felt uncomfortable about a comment and question I asked at St. Paul’s Episcopal church last Sunday when the guest speaker open the floor for discussion. I said something like, “I think it would be a good idea to look at how St. Paul’s is doing in terms of diversity and welcoming those who are different. I feel rather uncomfortable here–but then, I feel uncomfortable at most churches”

I really didn’t want to be confrontational but after the words left my lips I wondered if  my comments had been perceived as such. So I wrote about five people who I had met just recently telling them of my distress and I got such beautiful, welcoming, encouraging and understanding responses that helped reassure me that I was welcome at St. Pauls. I even had a wonderful dialogue after I receive this email from Lowell Grisham, the pastor at St. Paul’s–I had  made some assumptions which he cleared up for me. I really appreciate Lowell, and here is his response which he gave me permission to print:

Dear Patricia,

I thought your comment was most appropriate – challenging and creative in the way that we like here at St. Paul’s, at least when we are at our best, we do.  We want to be a church that brings good news to whatever the bad news might be in our community.  We want to be a church that welcomes everyone into fellowship and into service.  I looked on Amazon at the discussion about Matthew Barnett’s “Church that Never Sleeps” in Los Angeles.  That sounds very energizing.  One of our models has been the Church of the Savior in Washington, D.C.  A lot of our Servant Leadership ministry is drawn from their programs.  Killian Noe’s book “Finding Our Way Home” is part of that curriculum.

Most churches move pretty slowly.  Ours is that way.  But we intend to persevere to find more ways to connect people with God and to support their ministries to help heal and reconcile our community.  Please keep coming.  Please keep challenging.  You are welcome.  You are needed.

Lowell

Dear Patricia,

I thought your comment was most appropriate – challenging and creative in the way that we like here at St. Paul’s, at least when we are at our best, we do.  We want to be a church that brings good news to whatever the bad news might be in our community.  We want to be a church that welcomes everyone into fellowship and into service.  I looked on Amazon at the discussion about Matthew Barnett’s “Church that Never Sleeps” in Los Angeles.  That sounds very energizing.  One of our models has been the Church of the Savior in Washington, D.C.  A lot of our Servant Leadership ministry is drawn from their programs.  Killian Noe’s book “Finding Our Way Home” is part of that curriculum.

Most churches move pretty slowly.  Ours is that way.  But we intend to persevere to find more ways to connect people with God and to support their ministries to help heal and reconcile our community.  Please keep coming.  Please keep challenging.  You are welcome.  You are needed.

Lowell

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