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Inclusion is...

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

Yesterday morning at SBC we talked about what it means to welcome those who have been excluded, to offer inclusion in place of exclusion. My sermon notes will be up on Wednesday, but first I wanted to share some of things members of the congregation wrote when asked to complete the sentence "inclusion is..."

(There were also some responses reflecting on exclusion, which were a powerful reminder of the importance of deliberate welcome and continued learning, and while I have not shared them here, they were just as important and have been just as heard.)

As you read these, you might like to reflect on what inclusion means to you, whether that is in your church, or in your workplace, or in your home.

At Stoneygate Baptist Church inclusion is...

  • making people feel welcome, particularly when you come for the first time

  • joint meals with the church community

  • being part and being accepted for what and who you are

  • when you can be allowed to take part in the activities in a church

  • welcoming all without judgement - hard to do but with God’s help, love and grace something to work towards

  • accepting everyone into church

  • being welcomed at the door

  • celebrating diversity as better than uniformity and enriching for all

  • very interesting, good

  • made to feel welcome by all to all

  • being welcomed whatever problems/differences you come with

  • others not ignoring or being frightened to ask about your problems

  • wheelchair access

  • offers of help (even if they are not needed)

  • not asking questions, just accepting and loving

  • being welcomed without judgement

  • a sense of friendship and fellowship

  • feeling the church is relevant to me and the community

  • at the dining table

  • coming to church and having coffee

  • being open to show your weaknesses to others

  • being loving so others know you value them for not being judgemental

  • trying to reflect the love of Christ

  • being aware and open to diversity

  • ensuring no one is left out

  • feeling welcome, put up with

  • knowing most people well, worship to support them

  • showing the love of God to everybody, no matter who they are

  • feeling welcome and respected

  • feeling safe

  • trying to make others feel welcome and comfortable

  • being accepted for what I am and what I can contribute however small

  • being in the same room together

  • making sure everyone is welcome and everyone is able to be fully involved in the life of the church in the best way for them

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