One of the most frequent questions I hear from new folks visiting our church is this: “Will I really be welcome? Really?”
Well yes, certainly, but often folks offer several reasons for asking.
- I haven’t been to church in (at least) 500 years!
- I’ve never been baptized.
- I was raised Catholic.
- Can I bring my kids?
- I’m Black
- I’m Hispanic
- I’m LGBTQIA+
- I had religion crammed down my throat when I was younger.
- I was abused by someone in the church I attended.
- I don’t believe in God the way most people do.
- I’m only here during the winter.
- I did something earlier in life of which I am ashamed of.
- Do I have to wear a coat and tie?
- I’m interested in church but my husband/wife/significant other isn’t.
- I want to keep my membership in another church as well.
The list goes on and on. To ALL newcomers, I offer two things: read our Open and Affirming Church Statement. Yes, we really mean it when we say, No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here! We really mean it!
You will find among us a safe place, and you will find us warm and welcoming, willing, and able to accompany you along your life’s journey.
Start here: come see for yourself! Join us for worship. Drop by the office. Give us a call (352) 329-2032 and we will join up for coffee.
In Christ –
Rev. Dr. Harold W. McSwain