What does it mean when the pastor welcomes us to worship?
It means that United Lutheran Church extends a special welcome to those who are single, married, or divorced. It means we want to welcome the filthy rich as well as the dirt poor. We want to welcome those children who are crying or soon will be. It means you are welcome if you can sing like an angel or plan to lip synch your way through every hymn. You are welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woke up or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Lutheran than Old Martin or haven’t been to worship in who knows how long.
We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but have not grown up yet as well as to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, and junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like “organized religion” because we’ve been there too. If you blew all your offering money at the casino, you are welcome here.
We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because Grandma is in town and guilted you into going to worship. 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 follow a strange and wonderful Lord who welcomed everyone so we at ULC strive to do the same.
In other words….WE WELCOME YOU!