12/21/22: Living our Radical Welcome!

In this season of welcoming Christ into our lives, an act of Radical Welcome, I have pondered the ways we try and live out this vision of ours—“together following Jesus on the Way of Radical Love.” We try … and there is always room to try more

Lately, our locked front door has been seen as a barrier to radical welcome. We locked the door on advisement of the Ashland Police Department because of an attendee who was being stalked. This person is no longer coming to church and I hope the stalking has come to an end. People coming late to church are greeted by a locked door—having to knock—“is there no room at the Inn?” Council has agreed that while there is risk to keeping our front door unlocked, that risk is so very small, given where we live and who we are. We have decided to keep our front door unlocked during our services (while also keeping the back door locked). And if this is a problem for you, we are committed to continuing Zoom church at 9 am each Sunday—turning it into Hybrid in January, once we have upgraded our WiFi.

There is another piece of Radical Welcome that is “sagging.” We offer the hospitality of food following InPerson church with the expectation that everyone participate occasionally. It is difficult to get people to sign up. The complaint that I have heard is the annoyance of the incessant sign-up via Breeze to provide hospitality. Now the reason it is incessant is because responses are so low. So I am trying out a new method. I have divided the church into 4 equal groups, each group having plenty of people to fill the need for providing hospitality for a month. Each month ONLY 1 group will be asked to provide these after-church snacks. And if the slots aren’t filled with a first request, I will send out a second. December is filled. Soon Group2 will receive a request to serve—for January—and then not again until May. So when you say you believe in our vision of —“together following Jesus on the Way of Radical Love,” please add some muscle to that vision by signing up when your turn comes. You will only be asked every 4 months! And if filling out the Breeze form is too difficult for you, you can always contact Don Wilson and volunteer that way.

This business of “together following Jesus on the way to Radical Love” isn’t always easy. We are all imperfect—not new information—but we CAN try. I hope you will join me in trying!