No matter who you are, where you’ve come from or where you’re going;
No matter what you believe or doubt:
No matter who you love;
God loves you and you are welcome in this place.
Each Sunday we begin with that greeting. This was the greeting before I was the pastor here, so we’ve been using it for over 9 years. To me it communicates that we are welcoming and accepting of people who have different backgrounds, different ways of thinking and different ways of loving. In that way, it describes our congregation and how we understand God. It says a lot. But it doesn’t say everything.
As a church connected with the Reconciling Ministries Network, we have a welcoming statement that explicitly says that we welcome, affirm and show no partiality to those who identify as gay, bi-sexual, transgendered and queer. We wrote this welcoming statement in 2010, when WUMC affiliated with RMN. You can read that at the bottom of this page. RMN is now expanding their advocacy work to support other groups who are marginalized in the Church. They have a new welcome statement that they want their affiliated churches to adopt. The Church Council will look at this at their May meeting.
In addition, our leadership believes this is a good time to develop a new vision for our church. Not just who are we now; but who do we want to be. Who do we think God is calling us to be as a church? This encompasses what our greeting communicates, but also goes beyond. This summer, you will be invited to participate in small group conversation about the VISION of our church. Please be on the lookout for this invitation and plan to participate. We all know WUMC to be a special congregation. We need to listen to God and each other to continue evolving as a special and sacred part of the Body of Christ.
WUMC Welcoming Statement
Woodlawn United Methodist Church is a family of God dedicated to worshiping, learning, and serving with all people as we embrace Jesus Christ’s message of love and acceptance. Together we are called to share God’s love through ministry with and around our immediate community and beyond. We are committed to a ministry built on the themes of reconciliation, friendship, compassion, and service to others. As a United Methodist Church we stand fully behind the statement open hearts, open minds, and open doors. Building on our tradition and the welcoming of those who have come before, we celebrate our diversity and invite all persons regardless of age, gender identity, racial or ethnic background, sexual orientation, marital or socioeconomic status, nationality, physical or mental ability into full participation in the life of this community of faith. May we continue together in the hard work of reconciliation and love for all people.