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  • James Pate

Now that we've found love ...

A song has been going through my head recently: ‘Now that we’ve found love what are we going to do with it?’*

Or maybe: ‘Now that we’ve got an inclusion statement, what are we going to do with it?’

I’m delighted that we’ve passed the statement. In case you haven’t seen it, here it is:

“We believe in a church which reflects the love of Jesus Christ, who welcomed and accepted all without discrimination.

We believe in a church where we can discuss matters freely. We do not let differences of opinion harm our relationships with each other.

We believe in a Church where people serve and hold leadership roles without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, marital status, mental health, neurodiversity, or sexuality”

I’m grateful to everyone who took part in our discussions, so we could reach a statement that we are all happy with. This is now on our church website, so anyone interested in our church can see it.

What now?

One immediate step has been to think about our list of preachers for 2023. We are going to make a few changes so that our list of preachers is more diverse.

Please may I ask you to show the highest level of respect for everyone who preaches here whether it is me, someone else from our church or a guest. Inclusivity is about listening to a wide range of voices.

If you are a member here, please listen to the recordings of the services you miss, so that our Sundays can have the greatest possible impact.

You may have other ideas. If you do, please let me know. I’d love to hear them.

But here’s something we all can do. As we start the New Year, let’s invite our Father in heaven to search our hearts to remove all prejudice from us. The Apostle Peter learned that God shows no favouritism. Let’s do all we can to make Daybrook a church that puts this into practice. It was matters to do with sexuality and gender that provoked our discussion, but inclusivity is a bigger and wider issue.

And maybe spend a few moments thinking about these wonderful texts:

“A great multitude that no-one could count, from every tribe, people and language, standing before throne and in front of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9)

“Neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, no male and female, for you are all one in the Messiah Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

“I now realise how true it is that God shows no favouritism.” (Acts 10:34)

May our Father in heaven bless us throughout the year to come, to transform us one degree of glory at a time.

In His love


* In case you are wondering, I’m thinking of the original O’Jays version, not the later covers whose lyrics are quite different.

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