At Bethany UCC we are living into the radical “I.D.E.A.” that everyone is invited to discover, participate, and live the message of Jesus Christ, to love everyone, fostering a spirit of transformation.
“God calls us to be partners to work for a new kind of society where people count; where people matter more than things, more than possessions; where human life is not just respected but positively revered; where people will be secure and not suffer from the fear of hunger, from ignorance, from disease; where there will be more gentleness, more caring, more compassion, more laughter; where there is peace, not war.” – Desmond Tutu, God Has a Dream.
I – Inclusion. More than just a welcome, we view inclusion as an open invitation to share your culture, your voice, your whole self, in a truly mutual relationship, fully participating, to make a positive impact on the world, together.
D – Diversity. Jesus loves everyone. He does not sort, classify, and label. We seek to open our minds by inviting people with different thoughts, cultures, perspectives, heritage, and opinions, into collaborative dialogue that we may all be enriched by each other.
E – Equality. The grace of Jesus is free to everyone. Jesus does not show more grace to the rich, or the clean, or the educated. Jesus shares equally, the same loving grace and acceptance. At Bethany, we strive to respect the rights of everyone, to equal treatment, and equal respect and the right to be safe and supported.
A – Awareness. Awareness building helps us support Inclusion, Diversity, and Equality. Every personal interaction is an opportunity to live into the Dream of God. We are called to be aware of, and respond to, the needs of the people we meet. We must also be aware of ourselves, challenging our own implicit and unconscious bias, opening our minds and hearts, so that we may truly embrace each other as human beings and followers of Jesus Christ.
“We are offering an Embrace, and that means we have opened ourselves, offered ourselves. Embrace requires that we gird ourselves with the Love of God and Say “Come, bring who you are. Our arms are open to you. Would you open yours to us?” – Stephanie Spellers, Radical Welcome.