A Note from Pastor Gregory (1/4/2017)

Our 2017 theme is “All are welcome in this place” and it comes from the hymn “All Are Welcome” (1950) by Marty Haugen. We sang the first verse last Sunday:

Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live, a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive. Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace; here the love of Christ shall end divisions. All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

As Christians in the 21st century it is our calling to be a place of radical hospitality and welcome to those who have been mistreated, kicked out, religiously registered, or deemed illegal. In the past few years at our church this has meant welcoming people of diverse sexual orientations, different class and social status, and various racial and cultural backgrounds. As we move into 2017 may continue this welcome by raising our flag of inclusion to immigrants and refugees as they face incredible challenges in the four years ahead. Historically our church has been a place of sanctuary for refugee families from all over the world and now we step into this role again by opening ourselves to “the stranger” and offering support and care in the struggle. May we begin to discern what it is we are capable of and how we can offer our skills and abilities to migrating families of all kind.

“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the stranger, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were once immigrants in the land of Egypt.”  -Deuteronomy 10:17-19

See you Sunday,

Pastor Gregory

In the World: Anti-Immigrant Walls and Racist Tweets

Migrants in Europe
Migrants are increasingly attempting to enter Europe overland from the East. EPA/Nake Batev

Anti-Immigrant Walls And Racist Tweets: The Refugee Crisis In Central Europe

Jan Culik

While many citizens of Western Europe don’t seem particularly enthusiastic about taking in the refugees fleeing war and poverty in Syria, the crisis has provoked a remarkably strong wave of xenophobia and Islamophobia in the countries of Central Europe.

Hungary is planning to build a four metre-high wall along its border with Serbia in a bid to keep immigrants from crossing. This follows comments from Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, who denounced an EU plan to resettle some of the refugees across member states as “mad”.

Continue reading In the World: Anti-Immigrant Walls and Racist Tweets