How should churches react when they find a registered sex offender worshiping in their midst? In a moving post for Patheos, Mennonite pastor Hugh Hollowell explains how his congregation openly welcomes registered citizens - and others.
At our weekly service, we share communion every week. And I always end the words of institution with the same words:
“Churches have argued over the years about who gets to take communion – just who is welcome at the table.
Some say it is only for members of a particular church. Others say only the baptized can come. But here in our community, we are clear that this ritual reminds us of a meal Jesus once shared. And in our examination of the scriptures, we don’t see anywhere where someone wanted to eat with Jesus and was turned away.
So we won’t turn you away either. We don’t care what you’ve done. Or where you’ve been. Or even what you believe right now. All that matters is that you want to be here. And if you do, then you are welcome, and we invite you to come forward.”Why should such a sentiment seem so remarkable?
Read Rev. Hollowell's blog post here.