Some of you may have noticed that in some of our outside communications we are trying to be very clear that all are welcome and valued here at All Souls.
We declare that Black Lives Matter with our roadside sign, which was recently either stolen by the wind or a vandal but will soon be replaced.
We declare that LGBTQ folks are welcome with rainbow flags by our doors, which also help all visitors and guests know which entrance is our main entrance.
We declare that trans people are welcome by offering name tags at our front welcome table that have options to fill in our own pronouns.
We need to affirm that particular identities are welcome here because not all identities are welcome in all churches.
We need to affirm that particular lives matter to us, because not all lives matter in our larger society.
We need to affirm that black lives matter to us, because we know that black lives are oppressed by the policies and practices of white supremacy.
For many of us who face systematic oppression, we cannot assume that we will be welcome everywhere.
For many of us who face systemic oppression, we cannot assume that everyone believes that our life matters as much as their own.
For many of us who face systemic oppression, we cannot assume that everyone acts as if our lives matter to them as much as their own.
Here at All Souls, we declare with our name that All are worthy and beloved. We declare in our communications that All are welcome here. We are working to make sure that our actions align with our beliefs and our words. We do this because we know what we believe, and know that the religious task is to move our reality closer to what we know is right and true.
And so we focus on learning more together, so that we can ensure our actions are becoming more closely aligned with our beliefs and values.
We invite you to engage in the learning, reflection, growing and action opportunities here at All Souls as we seek to live closer into this vision. We are offering sessions like Trans 101, anti-racism discussion and learning groups, and presentations on ableism. Where is your growing edge? What are you hoping to learn more about? How are you hoping to bring your actions closer to your beliefs? Comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join our community of fierce care bears!!
In Faith and Love,