Since the beginning of 2016, we have prayed that God might weave all people into one. Throughout 2016, we will be praying this prayer and holding ourselves accountable to monthly community-building goals that will hopefully weave us into one.
A dynamic that is often at work when we seek to build community is an unintentional exclusion of certain people from “all.” When we say “All are welcome” to participate in an event that, in the past, was meant for children and youth, we may hear that children and youth are the only ones invited. When we say “All are welcome” at the pancake breakfast, we may hear that only people living in poverty are welcome. These distinctions are simply not accurate or necessary. All means all. All are welcome. At least when I say “All are welcome” at a particular event, I mean all people—of all ages, of all genders, of all socio-economic backgrounds, members and non-members alike.
During the month of March, our community-building goal is for each one of us to come and simply sit down and eat at the pancake breakfast. All are welcome at the breakfast, and that means all people of all backgrounds are welcome. We build community when we share meals together, and I do believe it is God’s desire for us to be one community, not several different communities here at Grace. So, please simply come and eat! If you want to avoid the line, perhaps come a little later, at maybe 8:00 am. Sit down and get to know people who may come every Sunday to eat the pancake breakfast or who may be there for the first time. You might meet someone whose humor you appreciate, someone who was born and raised in the same part of the country as you, someone with whom you can have spirited discussion about politics or religion over pancakes and sausage. We are one people, and God is weaving us together.
All means all. All are welcome here at Grace. You are welcome, and so are all our neighbors!
With gratitude and love for each of you,