our welcome & vision statement
Celebrating Holy Communion.
We, as a diverse body of believers and seekers, aspiring to live in the light and love of God in Christ, do affirm:
that every person has worth as a special and unique creation made in God's image; that in the Spirit of love, openness and inclusiveness we welcome everybody to participate fully in all aspects of our Church's life and ministry, whatever their age, class, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or nationality; that as agents of reconciliation and wholeness we embrace justice for all and seek to support all who suffer discrimination or who are excluded from their communities; that in the light of the Gospel we will continue to comprehend and appreciate more fully our diverse backgrounds and gifts, that through grace our love for God and neighbour may flourish.
(The statement comes from our partner congregation the First Congregational Church of Berkley in California. It was adopted at one of our church meetings and continues to guide the mission and vision of our congregation.)
'Hospitality is not to change people, but offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines. It is not to lead our neighbor into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment. It is not an educated intimidation with good books, good stories and good works, but the liberation of fearful hearts so that words can find roots and bear ample fruit. It is not a method of making our God and our way into the criteria of happiness, but the opening of an opportunity to others to find their God and their way. The paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness, not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations.' (Henri Nouwen)
“I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.” - Mary Oliver
This talk was given at an interfaith gathering
in Cape Town on 16th November 2018.