The Church of the Saviour churches have always been open to diversity, Yet despite seeking welcoming ways to worship, pray, study and work together, most have not become fully diverse. We have had meaningful relationships with people of different races and economic classes, for example, and sometimes we also have been church members together, but generally we have not been a radically diverse and reconciling body at the foundations, with people of widely varying life experiences finding mutual partnership and belonging.
We have hoped that if we consciously sought to give ourselves to God and God’s flow of love, reconciling and intimate relationships would happen naturally. By and large, however, they have not. This new process is an attempt to end our complicity in staying separated from each other and to build rich, mutual relationships with those from whom we have been isolated.
If we are going to be the church of Jesus Christ, true to his nature and part of God’s redemptive plan for the world, we must find new ways to be together, ways that say, clearly and concretely from the outset, Yes, we are different from each other. We are of different races and cultures, some of us own very little and others of us own much; we have had different opportunities in our lives; there are ways in which we do not understand or trust each other, but we are family, and God has called us to be together.
We no longer wait untiI we have the “race issue” or the “economic issue” or the “power issue” figured out. We no longer will wait until we have a clear understanding of each other and feel completely at ease. Rather, our differences will be our starting place.