Editor’s note – This was an article by Gay Rahn in the newsletter in October, 2007 based on a question she posed to the congregation, “Are We Different?
A question St. George’s clergy are asked frequently and it is a good question. One answer is that our history, our particular challenges, our location and our dreams have led us in some distinctive directions.
The other simple honest answer is that we aren’t very different from any local Christian congregation. We seek faithfully to offer the worship of God and service to others in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been asking St. George’s members to describe “our” church and I have been asking, “are we different?”; below are some of the answers:
- We are Anglicans, members of a worldwide communion of Christians whose customs and understandings of the Christian way developed from the Church of England.
- We try to provide a church “roomy” enough for Christians with conscientious differences in practice and belief to live together in love.
- We try to practice radical welcome; trying to welcome and live our lives the way Jesus lived his life and ministry.
- We are not perfect at this but we try to welcome people by struggling to live beyond the categories of race, ethnicity, citizenship, religious identity, sexual orientation, age, class.
- We gather at an open table. At the heart of things, our life centers on our worship of God.
- At the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, Mass), we welcome all who come to us no matter their age and no matter where they are on their spiritual journey. They all may receive the bread and wine with us. The gifts of bread and wine are on the altar as God’s gifts to us, not our possessions.
- We are not a club of like-minded, self-focused members. We care for one another but our work and mission is toward those who might want to hear the Good News of God in Christ.
- Our three Sunday services run from traditional to innovative, sometimes blending ancient and contemporary forms in the same service. Not everyone responds spiritually to the same stimuli; we respect that and work creatively with the possibilities.
- Every Sunday is a little Resurrection, so we offer our best offerings—worship, education, hospitality—every Sunday of the year.
- We are not afraid to grow. Sometimes we become anxious about change but that is always a part of growing.
- We challenge one another and we welcome others into leadership.
- We are willing to talk about money.
- We are always looking for the next thing God is calling us to do.
Can you add to the list?