All Are Welcome in This Place!
At Abiding Peace Lutheran Church,
whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on your journey of faith,
know that you are most welcome here, to receive God’s goodness, mercy, and love.
When we say that you are welcome, we really mean it:
We extend a loving welcome to those who are single, married, divorced or widowed; those of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions; those who are rich, comfortable, or experiencing financial hardship. We welcome wailing babies and excited toddlers. We welcome you whether you can sing like Pavarotti or quietly hum. We welcome those of all ethnicities, races, immigration status, and primary languages and we affirm our commitment to racial equity. We welcome you if you are more Christian than Martin Luther, haven’t been to church since Confirmation, or have never before entered a church. We welcome those who are questioning their faith, have not participated in organized religion, grew up in another tradition or religion, or are just looking to sit a while.
We welcome, with open arms, those who are over 60 but not yet grown up and teenagers who are growing up way too fast. We welcome those who are inked, pierced, both, or neither. We welcome veterans, those in active service, and draft-dodgers. We welcome people of all political affiliations and encourage you to join in our loving dialogues on difference. We embrace those who are in recovery (grape juice is offered at communion), or still addicted. We welcome you if you are having problems, are down in the dumps, or don’t like organized religion.
We offer a smiling welcome to those who work too hard, don’t work, are recently unemployed, can’t spell, or are just here because Grandma made them come. We welcome those who are vision or hearing impaired. We welcome those with physical and mental health conditions, and children, youth, and adults with special needs.
We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved upon them as kids, or simply took the wrong road and ended up here by mistake! We welcome those who wish to be welcomed with an extended hand and listening ear, as well as folks who want to sit silently in a pew. We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters, those who are hurting and those who are celebrating.
We welcome you if something we said above bothers you.
We are open to talking about it. We can be community even when we disagree.
Whoever you are, we welcome YOU, because we all need this same welcome, and we want to share the welcome we have received. Welcome to Abiding Peace!
[Abiding Peace thanks the people of Coventry Cathedral, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and Trinity Lutheran Church, Dover. Your welcome statements inspired us.]
Reconciling In Christ Journey.
In 2021, Abiding Peace formally began our journey to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation. With resources and support from Reconciling Works, we engaged in the work of Setting the Table for All to be Fed - learning, exploring, sharing, and growing together in our faith as we seek to more completely live into our call to be a congregation of welcome. The linked video is a call from the beginning of this journey for all members of our community to reflect and work together on this process. On October 30, 2022 our community unanimously voted to embrace a revised welcome statement that lives into the Reconciling in Christ commitments. Our learning is not done - we will continue to lean into new opportunities to improve our welcome - but we have made the public committment to affirm the celebration of all God's children in the fullness of their God-given identities.