Some folks come to the UM Church for All People (C4AP) because they don't feel welcome at any other church (travesty!).
Some come out of desire to serve under-privileged communities in need.
I come for more selfish reasons.
I come to C4AP because of a conviction that isolating ourselves among believers of similar backgrounds only deprives our own souls of God's majesty. Rich diverse community is how we will know who God is. I have not come to serve the poor. I have come to sit at the feet of those that can show me the face of Christ.
In that regard, I am really spoiled at C4AP.
On Sunday mornings, I have the privilege of worshiping with a beautiful body of believers at C4AP. Together, we worship with the very poor, the very rich, the young, the old, the gay, the straight, many races, many nationalities, many backgrounds. Isolation within our own groups is not what God would have for us. Instead, the early church gives us a model for worshiping together as the diverse body of Christ, and I am convinced that in doing so, we draw nearer to Him. The Triune God is our model: diverse, but unified as One.
We come to Jesus to find comfort, but no one said church would be comfortable. It can be hard to share a meal with the sick, or have an eye-to-eye conversation with the those struggling to get by. But as with so much of Christ's call for our lives, it is worth it! This is not a charitable endeavour, but one that is fundamental for own souls.
It may be that I could do better work serving God at a more homogeneous church, spreading the word or racial justice and helping to cultivate multicultural community there. But for now, I will relish in the luxury of the koinonia that C4AP provides, and try learn as much as I can from my sisters and brothers there. The Church for All People is my home, and I am so grateful for its generosity with me.