By Rev. J.C. Austin
One of the Core Values that we have identified for our congregation is being a Christian community that is “Welcoming to All.”
That is a statement that sounds inherently positive (and it is!), because it means that we are committed to being a community that is generous in space and in spirit, that is truly hospitable to others, and that welcomes diversity of opinion, perspective, background, and experience, seeing those differences as resources to help us to greater faithfulness to the will of God.
Theologically, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Reformed Christian tradition in general emphasizes the importance of such diversity in the same way. The danger of any group in which people share the same opinions, perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences is that it becomes far too easy to mistake our own beliefs and intentions with the mind and will of God because there is nobody saying otherwise.