A Word from Pastor Jim…
He was there to greet me when I unlocked the doors on a Tuesday morning. A single snail climbing up the glass, probably unsure of his destination, somewhat weary from the long journey that brought him to TLC.

Had he lost his family? Was he looking for food, or love, or a wet place to curl up in his shell and rest?

I am guessing that snails cannot read, but he seemed to be looking in toward the welcome mat that bears the Trinity logo and the simple phase that helps to define our life together:

“Mine is the church, where everybody’s welcome.”

Are snails welcome at TLC?

In the years that have followed our adoption of that simple phrase we have had many test cases. Sometimes people slither, stumble, or limp in the door; they are not sure why they are here, and, at first glance we are not sure that we want them here. They might not be the kind of people that we see at the club or invite to our home for a dinner party.

Are snails welcome at TLC?

We have had a parade of strange uncles, eccentric aunts, unchurched drifters, democrats, and republicans. They garner the courage to walk into a place where they are likely to be judged. They are so desperate that they take a chance and, against all odds, walk through the door that the snail climbed.

Doubting, uncertain, and insecure children of God they hobble into the sanctuary – which is defined as a “safe place.” They are new to the community, they have just lost a loved one, were recently divorced, gay, straight, questioning, transgendered, they are terminally ill and critically lonely. They long for hope, for a word of grace, for a place to curl up in their shell and rest.

Are snails welcome at TLC?

Mine is the church where everybody’s welcome. Either all are welcome, or all will be excluded. Either all are welcome, or the church becomes a club. We are TLC. We are the Total Loser Club, one beggar telling another where to find bread.

Are snails welcome at TLC?

Look for them this Sunday. They will be there. They took a chance on us, they are waiting to meet Jesus, they are our sisters and brothers. Mine is the church where everybody’s welcome. Such an easy sentence to speak, living it takes work. Living it forces us to face our own prejudices and our ever-present self-righteousness.

Not sure where you are going? Not sure what you believe? A little bit afraid and massively insecure? You will feel right at home at TLC.

One day closer,

Pastor Jim

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