NOV. 17, 2016 — Last weekend an Episcopal parish in Maryland, and another in Indiana were vandalized with hate messages. Their responses were hopeful and loving. Our Presiding Bishop has written a Statement that begins with these words: “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You is not just a slogan”. I spent some time with it, and this week the vestry put together a similar message of assured welcome for our own people and for our local community. As people of faith, we are called not to fear but to hope. And hope we will. While we hope, we proclaim gospel good news to all.
— Kelly Kirby
Statement of Welcome
Vestry, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Louisville KY
St. Matthew’s is called to be a caring, inclusive community centered in the Eucharist grounded in the Gospel so that we can reach out as Christ’s hands to the world.
Therefore: We continue our longstanding commitment to support and welcome refugees and immigrants. We stand with those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. We reaffirm that like all people, LGBTQ persons are entitled to full civil rights and protection under the law. We recommit ourselves as allies of the Black community, with a particular focus on our brothers and sisters in Christ living in West Louisville and in Rongo, Kenya. We lift up the principles of inclusion and the protection of the civil rights of all persons with disabilities. We commit to speak out against violence based on personal identity, and uphold the honor and dignity of every human being. We affirm the right to freedom of religious expression of all faiths. We value in particular the vibrant relationships with our Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist sisters and brothers here in Louisville. We are mindful of our responsibility in the stewardship of creation and all that God has given into our hands. We answer this call issued to the People of St. Matthew’s gladly, and in the future we trust that we will be called to do even more as Christ’s hands in the world. We are a people grounded in the hope of the resurrection.