Elmhurst Presbyterian Is A Welcoming Church

Many churches post statements about being welcoming, inclusive, and affirming on their websites, which is both really great and really sad.

It is great because offering a truly welcoming environment that is inclusive and affirming for people regardless of their sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, documentation status, religious background, or whether they have a home is what we believe we are called to do. Jesus set the example with what people today call “radical hospitality.” It is an example we at Elmhurst Presbyterian Church (EPC) are working hard to follow.

At the same time, it is sad because — truth be told — churches haven’t always been so welcoming. That’s why many people wonder, “Is there a place for me? If I visit will I be accepted? If I participate, may I be in a leadership role?” 

Welcoming means more than just posting a statement to our website or putting a catchy sign in the lobby. We are called to action. That’s why, for example, our church worked to help eliminate the denominational ban against LBGT+ persons being ordained, supported Presbyterian pastors being able to conduct same-gender marriages, hosted a Family Pride Festival, has been led by an LBGT+ minister, and has LBGT+ representation on our board of elders.

We want leadership roles to find people based on their talents, gifts, and desire to serve, period. We want the talents of all people to be used for God’s work. We need you to be you with the gifts God has given you!

At EPC we make no claims to perfection. We believe that God’s grace is a gift. We can’t earn it and we’ll never deserve it. But when we accept the gift of grace and are truly touched by it, we’ll live differently, and welcome others with radical hospitality. Here at EPC, we know that the world is rapidly changing and evolving. We pledge to do our best to keep up with the social justice issues of our time and to move forward without fear, into our future together.

Come and see.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels