It is our dream at Bethel that over the next years we will see God drawing to Himself and enfolding into our community people from a great variety of different cultures and nationalities. There is no more powerful witness to the Gospel than people who have been knitted together by Christ’s love into a multicultural tapestry.
This week our dream took a small, but significant, step forward. I met for an evening with a group of men and woman representing six different nationalities. We discussed how Bethel might become a church that truly extends a hand of welcome to people of all cultures.
I heard many things that were both moving and hopeful at this meeting. No one who attended is a stranger to being treated poorly in society (and sometimes, sadly, in churches) because of the colour of their skin. However, none of the participants at the meeting dwelled on this. Rather, they spoke with appreciation about how they discovered Bethel, about Bethel’s good intentions, and about the warm and welcoming people they have met here.
By sharing the things that help them feel welcome at church, and the things that unintentionally cause them to feel unwelcome, we were able to discern some of the first steps involved in becoming a church for all nations.
The meeting really was a small beginning, but I believe that it was small in the way a seed is small. While tiny, it has the promise of surprising and beautiful things to come.
— Pastor Tom
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