All identities are welcome, all behaviors are not.
We believe that anyone who cares to participate can be a leader. While we have no paid staff at the moment, and are run by volunteers, including our Pastor, our welcome statement applies equally to leaders, volunteers, and all potential future staff.
What's your Welcome Statement?
We value and invite every person to help us make meaning out of the Biblical stories. We believe that once people experience the story, they can add knowledge, questions, and perspective from their own lives. People of all ages, all creeds, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all colors, all abilities, all backgrounds, any immigration status, any mental health status, and any educational level have something to offer as we make meaning.
What about Weddings, Baptisms, and Preaching?
These church activities are open to all people. Open Heart faith gathering will baptize, marry, and invite anyone of any identity to make meaning. While in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the church through which Pastor Jess has her ordination, good order means that weddings, baptisms, and presiding at communion are normally done by people Ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, anyone who wishes make take part in these rituals. A guest Pastor of any identity can perform these rituals, provided their theology and welcome extends to everyone and they have been interviewed and invited by Pastor Jess.
Why should I believe you?
Our Pastor is bisexual, queer, and disabled. She is also female, and knows what it is to be kept locked out of church leadership for being who God made you to be. While we have a culture of accepting everyone for who they are, we do have limits around behaviors and how we are expected to treat one another. (Basically, you can have your feelings, but don't be a jerk to others. We can help you with this.) Be who God made you to be, come as you are and be who you are, and we'll all find out together what sacred stories might mean for our lives.
This work is licensed by Rev. Jessica A. Harren under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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