Inclusion is something we all like to think we are good at in the Uniting Church. We open our arms wide to receive all, but hospitality is more than just welcoming the visitors every Sunday. People love to be welcomed, but we adore finding a home within a community!
Sometimes we want so much to be part of the community of choice that we want to be involved. This is a fantastic way of becoming part of something bigger than ourselves, and a great way of passing on ideologies, skills and traditions that define the uniqueness of our communities. It is a great way to experience faith in action and to inspire faith and faithful living in others. We learn from what we do, not just from what we see and hear.
There is a rhythm to inclusion. At times we struggle to find cohesion and timing. During these periods even the most faithful of heart will find themselves on the fringes at church as family, work or health gets between us and our faith families.
Do not feel dejected if people fall by the wayside in rostering or attendance. Quite often these lapses in attention to Christian community are more a cause to reach out, then to write off.
Hopefully all is well with the individuals involved, and as time passes so once again they can be as included in person, as they are in Spirit. For in Spirit we are one.
Ephesians 4:1-6 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Unity in the Body of Christ
“Therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.”
Candidate for Minister of the Word