Radical Welcome is a phrase we use at St. Mark’s to capture the kind of faith community we aspire to be. It begins with basic Christian theology: Christ loved anyone he encountered, without reservation. He challenges us as a Christian community to live with open spirits as a reflection of that love. Who might we be excluding, regardless of our intentions?
A group of us began to explore Radical Welcome as an ideal in a class last fall. Our text was a book of the same name by Stephanie Spellers, an Episcopal priest. It’s also available in the St. Mark’s library.
By the end of the class, we had agreed on three goals, since approved by the Vestry:
- Enhancing St. Mark’s as a faith community through improved communication, a more effective welcoming process, and additional opportunities for small groups. Opening ourselves to others different from us grows out of our strengths as a community.
- Continuing to seek and expand a more diverse membership.
- Engaging in outreach and Christian justice activities in our neighborhood and the world.
We’ve made the most progress on the first goal, even as we know the most difficult goal is the second. We continue in the humility that we don’t always know the way, but also with the confidence that comes from seeking to live within Christ’s love.