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Musings from Mark…

I have pondered what words to place on the website in the area called “Greetings from our Pastor.” I was caught up wondering how to express a proper word of welcome, and at the same time try to communicate something about the nature and beliefs of our community. When I shared this dilemma with a member she responded that it would actually be quite simple. Her response, as I recall, went something like this: “I can think of no more appropriate word of welcome for the site than what you say each week at the beginning of worship.”

Hearing those words was a real “aha” moment for me. So that is exactly what I propose to do. What follows is the essence of the weekly greeting. I say essence because the exact wording may change but the message does not. Here is the message of welcome, grace, we have come to know through Jesus and we offer it as a message of welcome to all who come across our place on the web.

“Good morning. It is my pleasure to welcome you here in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we gather in this place to worship God, to hear the stories of our faith, to sing songs, and extend hospitality and reconciliation, If you hear nothing else than the simple great good news that God has called you by name and loves you more than you can even think or imagine, than you have heard the most important message: Grace.

As you leave this place you are going to encounter all sorts of messages about your value and worth that are based on things like: Your income, where you live, your race, your gender, your sexual orientation, and (being St. Louis specific) where you went to high school, and many more.

When you hear these messages if any of them do not affirm your identity as a beloved child of God, those messages are lies. And because there are so many messages that do not affirm this identity, we need to hear this repeated regularly.

When we really hear and receive and believe this message it is then we can whole heartedly give thanks and say Amen!”

So we invite you to come and hear this great good news we proclaim and seek to live out each day. Make sure to stop by our place on the web and see the new ways we are working to share our story.

Peace and Grace,