If you can sing like Pavarotti or Chris Tomlin, we’re glad you are here (especially because we sing a lot of a cappella). We’ll even accept you if you sing like Kermit the Frog (I won’t point fingers if you won’t).You are welcome here if you are “browsing,” just woke up, or just got out of prison.
You are welcome if you are a lifelong North Carolinian, a Yankee transplant, or from a foreign country. If you are more Methodist than Wesley, more Catholic than the Pope, or haven’t been to church since . . . well, let’s be honest, you can’t remember the last time you went to church (and liked it).
If you are lonely or have 5,000 Facebook friends, you are welcome!
Private school, public school, home-school and no school are welcome. Harvard or Harding, Duke or UNC, or no college background, you are welcome here.
We extend a special welcome to you soccer moms, NASCAR enthusiasts, starving musicians, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, NRA members, NPR subscribers, Prius drivers, Apple-sticker-on-my-car-snobs, vegetarians, or steak connoisseurs.
We welcome those in recovery, those in addiction, and those in denial. We welcome those who have the gift of faith and those who are very suspicious of spiritual welcome notes on church websites from ministers.
You are welcome if you have no money to put in the collection plate, or don’t know what a collection plate is. We welcome those who believe the world is flat; don’t work hard, work too hard. We welcome those who are here because your parents are in town and felt obligated to go to church.
If you love Jesus, like Jesus, don’t know much about Jesus, you are welcome here.
We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you!
The point is this. We’re enthralled with the life and teachings of Jesus. We take his life and purpose seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We believe that everyone is welcome to explore what God is doing in the world and how God might be using you and us for God’s purposes.
Grace and Peace from all of us at Friendly Avenue Church of Christ
(Inspired by Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Community)