Photo: (c) / allanswart (image #524997189)At last weekend’s annual meeting of the Central Pacific Conference, clergy and lay delegates were invited to consider where the edges, boundaries, and new places of our life together as church might lie, and to remember together the well of life.
I wasn’t a perfect meeting participant, a bit distracted by all the talk about talking (we do that well in the UCC). But as I thought about what feels like an edge or boundary for us here at KMUCC in the next year I thought of two things: exploring whether we want to claim and live into an identity as an officially Immigrant Welcoming Congregation, and committing ourselves to outreach to the community.
Of these two things, the second may make us feel even more shy than the first. Conversations about complicated justice issues can be threatening, of course, and we are never perfect at them. But there seems to me to be a deep level of trust among our congregation.
But… Tell other people about our church? Invite others to join us? “Advertise??” Why that sounds almost like…. Evangelizing.
Now THERE is a word we in the progressive church are uncomfortable with! But I think it is a word, or at least a concept, that we should take back as we engage wholeheartedly in sharing the life of our congregation with the world.
Not to convert people, but to welcome them. Not to change people, but to open ourselves to mutual growth.
Because here is the truth as I see it. While we live in such difficult times, but have each other and the joy and consolation of coming weekly, daily, to the well of God’s unending love, it would be selfish not to share what we have received. There is much to resist in the world, and power for living, rest for the weary, and solidarity for the journey in the gospel.

Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life. John 4: 13 - 14

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