All Belong in Christ.
Take a minute to think about what this statement means…What does it mean in your faith life? What does it mean in your everyday life? What does it mean for the life of Bethany?
Over the last few months, you have had a team at Bethany working on this same thing! All Belong in Christ. All, meaning everyone; people of all abilities, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, background, upbringing, current life situation, etc. Christ does not put limits on His love. He accepts, welcomes, loves, and includes all. How can we, as a community here at Bethany, welcome and include all?
We have spent the last few months meeting, discussing, reflecting, and dreaming of what this could look like at Bethany. Our June meeting was full of conversation on what it means to be and see the image of God. During his tenure at Capital, Pastor Gary created a video devotion on Genesis 1:26-27.
When you look at the language used in this text, you may notice that God talks in the plural. He speaks to the diversity among all living things in verse 26. He also begins to speak about the diversity among human beings in verse 27. Verse 27 reads, “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Pastor Gary notes in his devotion that oftentimes, when he looks at his reflection, he sees that he is created in God’s image. When each of us look at our reflection, we are told that we see this image.
But, we must take a step back from our own reflection to see THE image of God. God does not fully represent himself in us, but instead a little piece in each of us. When we look at all of God’s creation, and seek to celebrate the differences amongst us, we begin to see the full image of God.
What an image. Take a few seconds to look around you and focus on the differences you see among people. When I look around the table during a staff meeting here at Bethany, I see all of the different gifts and talents we bring to the table. I notice that there are a countless number of things that I could not do myself, but rejoice that someone else has those gifts. I notice Christ’s light shining through each of my colleagues as I remind myself that together we are more whole. When I look at the different gifts and talents that everyone in our congregation and community brings to the table, I rejoice in knowing that the kingdom is more complete with each of you.
Our goal, as the All Belong in Christ team, is to help all ministries and areas of Bethany to more fully welcome and embrace all people into our community. We have created a mission, vision, and core values, that we would like to focus on.
Mission: We will know what it is to be created in God’s image when all are included.
Vision: To care for all because all belong to Christ.
- To break down all barriers to meaningful worship.
- To create a community that cherishes the diversity of all.
- To create avenues where all can serve purposefully.
Please join us on this journey to more fully recognize, welcome and embrace the full image of God in His kingdom.