Sunday, October 01, 2006

Looking Like the Church

On Friday night, several people from Mount Vernon Place went to see the Washington Nationals play the New York Mets at RFK Stadium. The invitation to attend the game was extended to all young adults and those who are "young at heart" at the church, and we ended up with 18 people in attendance, including several guests. One of the "visitors" looked at the group and said, "Your church looks like the church." When I looked a little perplexed by her statement she continued to explain, "Donna, look at how many different people are here tonight. You have four different ethnicities represented in this group. You have different ages. You have different economic backgrounds. Your church looks like the church."

Our guest noticed one of the many things I really love about Mount Vernon Place. When I was in seminary we spent a lot of time talking about diversity but all of the churches I have ever been a part of have had a hard time achieving this diversity within the congregation.

Mount Vernon Place is different, however. At Mount Vernon Place there is an extraordinarily rich diversity of people from places around the globe. There are many different skin colors and many different stories. There are several people in their 90s and a new, seven-week-old baby. There are some people who have a lot and there are other people who have very little. There are several sinners and a few saints. There are some who are quick to believe and others who are quick to doubt. Yet all these people find a place to call home in our community of faith.

And it is my hope and prayer that the church's makeup will grow even more diverse in the years to come. It is my hope and prayer that the church will continue to be a place where all are welcome -- no matter what you look like or act like, no matter where you live or have lived, no matter what you have or what you don't have, no matter what you have done or are doing. After all, I, too, love a church that looks like the church.

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