Yesterday, at his great blog Per Crucem ad Lucem , Jason Goroncy posted on the church welcome-sign of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Community. Here is a much-adapted version of the sign that I used in the Call to Worship at my church this morning.
WELCOME! Welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, or Non parlo Inglese. Welcome to those who are skinny as a rake, overweight by a stone or two, or fit as an Olympic athlete.
Welcome to you if you can sing like Katherine Jenkins or, like me, you make dogs howl. Welcome if you’re “just browsing”, just woke up, or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Reformed than John Calvin, or haven’t been in church since the last wedding or funeral.
Welcome to the over-60s but not grown up yet, and to younger people who are older than you think. Welcome to those with kids still living at home or with kids who never stay in touch; to bankers and buskers, to carnivores and vegans, to the well-adjusted and the pretty neurotic. Welcome if you’re having problems or down in the dumps, or if you don’t like “organized religion” – we’ve been there too.
Welcome to those with mobile phones (though please turn them off) and those who think a tweet is a bird-song, to those with PhDs and those who can’t spell, and to those who are here because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.
We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, or just some human contact, and to those who got lost and wound up here by mistake. Welcome to visitors, seekers, doubters, and true believers.