Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Church Is a Diverse Place

This is one of the reasons why I love my church. Its slogan is this: "...inviting all to join our diverse, inclusive family of faith, transcending boundaries of race, class, ability, culture, age, gender and sexual identity to become one in Christ."

When I first moved to Pittsburgh, I wanted to find a church that was diverse (what that meant to me at the time was a place where both Black folks and White folks attended--something I'd never experienced and felt a need for.) As often happens, God exceeded my request. The congregation at East Liberty Presby is not only diverse in race, but also in class, sexual orientation, age, and more. It's not just White and Black people going up to the altar--there are Asian people, gay people, old people, young people, handicapped people, mentally challenged people, PhD students, former Catholics-Methodists-Baptists, families, single moms, adopted kids, and more.

And tough topics about racism and sexism are not avoided. The president and CEO of the NAACP, Ben Jealous, is coming to worship June 6. We just finished a movie/discussion series entitled "Race: The Power of an Illusion."

Now, of course this church is not perfect--as I've noticed with organizations with so many different people together, sometimes it's hard to satisfy everyone...some voices are heard more than others, some groups are represented more than others (I wish there could be more people my age).  But its diversity is unique, and I believe it's what Jesus would approve of. This is what I find beautiful.

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