Wednesday, September 02, 2009

If you build it, they will come

One of the great joys of my "day job" is working with the welcoming, newcomer & incorporation ministries here at All Saints Church. As we gear up for the new program year starting this fall, I just wanted to share part of an email I received on Sunday evening as a follow up to the Sunday morning "Newcomer's Coffee" we have here every Sunday at 10:15 (between principle services).

I believe what this young, married, mother-of-a-3 1/2-year-old was looking for in the church she had "been looking for for a long time but didn't know it until she found it" is just the tip of the iceberg of those who surround ALL of our congregations and communities -- those yearning for a faith community and passing us by because they don't know enough about us to know we ARE what they're looking for.

But enough from me. Here's what she had to say:

Hi Susan,

We met today at the Newcomer's Coffee. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us this morning. I am so excited to have found All Saints - I've been looking for a church that incorporates what I love from my childhood (I was raised Catholic) with the truly Christian values that I want my daughter to grow up with. Honestly, I didn't think I'd find a church where I felt at home and I'm so happy and relieved.

I want my daughter to be part of an inclusive, loving, religious community where members are equals and I didn't feel like I had that growing up. The fact that women can't be priests & birth control is not allowed are among the reasons I left the Catholic church.

It sounds so cheesy, but I feel like I've been looking for you guys for a long time, but didn't know until I found you. I wanted a church so that my daughter would grow up in the church and wasn't banking on finding a place that I am so excited about for myself! Sorry for the long email and it was great to have met you.


She's now signed up for our fall "Exploring Membership" class and hooked up with our Children's Minister to schedule baptismal preparation for her daughter.

Come on people ... no more "IF we build it, they will come!"

We HAVE built it ... let us rejoice and be glad in it ... and then let us "proclaim by word and example (and blog post and Facebook and Twitter and whatever ELSE we have at our disposal!) the Good News of God in Christ Jesus" ... AND The Episcopal Church!

1 comment:

Katie B said...

:). This is really wonderful. I know that you must hear it a lot but in light of all the other stuff you must hear as well, I think it deserves repeating. What is going on in the Episcopal Church in general and at All Saint's Pasadena in particular is absolutely incredible and wonderful and most importantly the work of Christ. After all the hatred and bigotry that has been done in the name of Christ and His Church, I cannot tell you what a wonderful thing it is to see a message of love and inclusion being carried forward in their names. Clearly, you are a blessing to this mother and her child like you have been to so many others. I've said it before and I will say it again: Thank you a million times.