Some people have asked me, how do you decide what to right about each week. Well the answer varies from week to week. Sometimes there a piece on the news which inspires, infuriates, or encourages me to comment on the item. Sometimes somebody says something just in passing which gets me thinking in a new and different way. Sometimes it is a significant event on the calendar like a birthday or an anniversary. Sometimes something mundane happens which takes on some eternal bit of significance. Some blog posts are easy to write. Others are much more difficult.
This week, I was going to write about the on going sexual harassment saga. I was going to talk about the black dress movement at the Golden Globes. I was going to talk about Oprah's speech and whether it was a good idea for her to run for president. And then an event happened.
Our welcome sign was stolen from the church. In a bold rainbow background, the sign read that "Everyone Is Welcome Here" and then underneath it said Neutral Bay Uniting Church. In one way the sign was political. Yes the rainbow is the symbol for gay pride. Yes we have just had a very divisive marriage equality debate here in this country. We wanted to show to the community that those who felt hurt by the vicious same sex marriage campaign could find a place of sanctuary here where they would not be judged for their lifestyle or their beliefs. But the sign was also a theological one. The rainbow was placed in the clouds at the end of the great flood to show that God would be with the people always and never would again destroy the earth. And our congregation prides itself that we welcome everyone here at our worship. People come with different beliefs and backgrounds, different ends of the political spectrum, from different countries, sexual orientations, speaking different languages, to form a community. All that we ask is that we respect one another and agree to support one another in good times and bad. All we ask is that people continue to live in community with one another.
Our sign is gone. Whether we replace it or not is not all that important. But our message of love and inclusion will continue on. We will continue to be a place where God's love abounds and everyone is welcome no matter who they are or who they love. Blessings.