Welcome
by Margaret Hurlbert
September 08, 2022

Have you ever driven by at the corner of Mulberry and Houser and noticed a colorful banner in the front lawn of the church located at this intersection? Have you asked yourself what the banner is all about? Our banner is our church’s way of letting the community know that all are welcome at Faith United Church of Christ. The banner is our way of living into the message of, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”

Recently, an event at work triggered my memory of a question I was asked many years ago when my husband and I applied to be adoptive parents. Our social worker asked, “Is there anything your child could do that would make you no longer accept them as a member of your family?”

This question gave me pause as I wondered about all the possible events that the future could hold for our family. Ultimately, after pondering all the worst-case scenarios my mind could conjure up, I answered: “Absolutely nothing I can imagine would ever cause us to not accept our child. Our love for this future member of our family will be
unconditional.”

Faith United Church in Muscatine and their banner.

As I think about the loving God I know, I think God’s love is much the same as the love I envisioned when I asked myself this question so many years ago. God loves us without exception and without qualifiers, as we are all created in God’s image. My belief is God wants us to love everyone in our human family in the same way that we are loved by God, unconditionally. Although we may differ in race, creed, gender, sexual identity, and all the other ways that make us human, that does not diminish God’s love for us nor should it diminish our love for one another. All the differences that exist among humanity were created by God and meant to be celebrated rather than to be divisive between God’s people.

At the corner of Mulberry and Houser is a community of people who uphold these beliefs and who extend an exuberant welcome to everyone. A community of people who wants to send the message that no matter who you are, you are welcome at Faith United Church of Christ. A community of people who welcomes the differences that make us all wonderful and human. A community of people who worships the same loving God we all worship in many different ways and fashions. So next time you are driving by the corner of Houser and Mulberry, think of God’s Love when you see our banner.

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