Church For Everyone

We had a remarkable baptism meeting at Kings Church yesterday. Baptism meetings are always great, but this one felt unusually diverse to me, and the ten stories I heard had me celebrating and sobbing (in a rather embarrassingly public context) in equal measure. Early on, Graham Marsh, who leads the team of elders I'm part of, shared something I thought was so good that I wanted to reproduce it. With his permission, here it is:

Welcome to a church for everyone.

We have kids and teens, babies and grandparents, students and teachers and student teachers. We have academics and those in need of support. We have lone parents, singles, same sex attracted and marrieds; others have gone through the heartache of divorce, or the pain of bereavement.

We have lots who are healthy, some who are in remission, and others who are still fighting, and believing. We have the employed and the job seeker, the long term sick & the long term carer.

We have pharmacists licensed to deal in drugs, and others who have dealt illegally. We have current law-keepers and former law breakers: prison officers, police officers and magistrates, right alongside those who’ve turned over a new leaf. We have army and navy, and sparks and plumbers. Shelf stackers and baristas and till operators. Alcohol dependents and addiction counsellors.

One time atheists, agnostics and sceptics. One time Muslims, Hindus and Jehovah’s Witnesses. We have red and yellow, maybe some green, a number of purple and now an MP who’s blue (and if given the choice we’d have Plaid Cymru too). We have people from Wales, and Scotland, and Ireland, and England. People from Argentina, America, Australia, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China, Columbia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Hong Kong, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Tanzania, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.

This really is a church for everyone. Because of Jesus, we are one. One hope. One Lord. One faith.

One baptism.

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