During the time of apartheid, St. George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, South Africa, was called “The People’s Church”. Its Bishop, TRR Desmond Tutu, had the following proclamation posted on its doors: “We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, gay, confused, filthy rich, comfortable, or dirt poor. We extend a special welcome to wailing babies and excited toddlers. We welcome you whether you can sing like Pavarotti or just growl quietly to yourself. You’re welcome here if you’re just browsing, just woken up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury or haven’t been to church since Christmas ten years ago. We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome keep-fit mums, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, and junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, are down in the dumps, or don’t like ‘organized religion.’ (We’re not that keen on it either!) We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or are here because granny is visiting and wanted to come to the Cathedral. We welcome those who are inked, pierced, both, or neither. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throat as kids, or got lost in the city centre and wound up here by mistake. We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters,...and YOU!
To those who are worshipping with us today, this welcome applies to St. Auggie’s as well!
~Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.