Acceptance

I have a lot of reasons to count my local congregation as a blessing. I’ve been tremendously grateful for the relationships I’ve found there, and for the restorative times of worshiping on Sunday mornings, and maybe most of all for the spirit of acceptance there. Because of all the schools here, there’s a lot of come-and-go members–people who will be around for a semester or a year or a few years and then go on–so there’s a joke that if you come twice you’re family. And that’s pretty much how it feels. And there are all kinds of people who come. Some of us have grown up in the church of Christ tradition, others have come from different faith backgrounds, or no faith at all. There are people from all over the world who come together in worship and fellowship.

And today, two members of our church got married. It was a lovely service. We sang hymns, we said prayers, and we blessed their marriage–not unlike any other wedding I’ve been to. Except at this wedding, a woman read scripture (which, if you’re familiar with church of Christ tradition, you’ll know that this is something still too rare), and a man chanted a passage from the Qu’ran (in honor of the groom’s heritage). And we, the audience, were all there mixed together, Christian and Muslim. And with all of the intolerance and division in the world today, it was a profoundly beautiful experience.

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