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We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, yo no habla Ingles. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rail or could afford to lose a few pounds.
We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or like our Priest who can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woke up or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than the Pope, or those more in line with Billy Graham. You're very welcome if you haven’t been in church since little Joey’s Baptism.
We welcome those who are bi-polar, down or up, bewildered, confused and don’t remember what day it is and thought you were coming for a coffee morning.
We welcome those with purple hair, those who can’t stand for long, and those who weep at the slightest thing. (We provide hankies too.)
We love to welcome those who shuffle on their bottoms or who have just learned to walk and want to explore every nook and cranny of this dusty old building. We rejoice at those who can hurdle down the pews and shuffle all the hymn board numbers out of their box. We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer mums, ballet dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like “organized religion,” we’ve been there too.
We welcome you if you answer rhetorical questions during the sermon, if you clap spontaneously, and if you fall asleep and gently snore. We will give you such a special smiley welcome if we need to get the ramp out for your wheelchair, or open the double doors for your buggy. We don’t mind walkers, zimmer frames, or clattering walking sticks.
If you blew all your collection money on the lottery, you’re welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.
We welcome you if you’ve learned about God in a tradition very different to the one we know best. We look forward to hearing about where you’ve come from and what you have learned because we’ve learned that there is always more to understand and more to know
We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you!
With thanks to Our Lady of Lourdes, Catholic Community Daytona Beach, Fl, USA for the original and to Rev Ruth http://revruth.wordpress.com/ for some additions.