Monday, March 1, 2010

Welcoming all people, as Christ has welcomed us!

The following Welcome Statement was adopted by Zion’s congregation council on February 18, 2010.

Welcoming all people, as Christ has welcomed us!

We, the congregation of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rahway, NJ, affirm with the apostle Paul that despite the diversity of our persons and our gifts, we who are baptized into the body of Christ are called by the Holy Spirit to live in harmony with one another and to welcome one another, just as Christ has welcomed each of us, for the glory of God (Romans 15:5-7).  Indeed, in Christ "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female" (Galatians 3:28).  Christ has made us one in Holy Baptism, and we welcome to the membership of this congregation all people who seek to be disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, without regard to distinctions among persons.  “For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Therefore, we publicly declare:
-        that all persons are loved by God, without partiality (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9);
-        that all persons are welcome to become full members of this congregation through the sacrament of Holy Baptism or upon making a public Affirmation of Baptism, according to the teachings and practices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America;
-        that all members of this congregation are expected and encouraged to fully participate in the sacramental and communal life of this congregation; and
-        that all members of this congregation are expected to live together in mutual love and service to one another and to our neighbors, as commanded by our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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