Our Inclusive Church
I can’t believe that I have been with you at Riverview UMC for six months. The time goes fast because my family and I are enjoying our time here. The church is a very caring, loving and inclusive one. Riverview demonstrates for me and my family the true mark of the church, to be inclusive.
I reaffirm that the church must be inclusive. The church is a refuge all: male and female, white and black, rich and poor, sick and healthy. Every person is constitutive of the gospel and the ministry of Jesus. Jesus included all kinds of person during his ministerial work. Therefore, the church as the very body of Christ must be an inclusive organization in order to be effective.
The Book of Discipline describes the inclusive church as “An inclusive church and ministry means openness, acceptance and support that enable all persons to participate in the life of the church, the community and the world.” (#139, Page 93) My brothers and sisters, this is how I can describe our lovely Riverview church.
I reiterate that God created us in His image. The church as the very body of Christ must welcome all with equal opportunity. Christ himself declares, “and I when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” Riverview church, it is an imperative for us to continue to be an inclusive church and minister to all without limit.
Jesus commanded the church to convey the gospel to all with equal value in the name of the triune God. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.” (CEB)
So, our church needs to continue to be an inclusive and a loving church for our community. May the grace of our Lord continue to be upon you all in 2019.
Pastor Louis Telcy