“Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you”
Romans 15: 7
Jesus is for everyone
Worship is for everyone
All are welcome
How do our places of gathering, the way we worship and our activities reflect this?
To make our communities and worship more inclusive we need to give reasonable consideration to how we involve people with different abilities: the language we use in our worship, our instructions to those taking part, the arrangement of the furniture, which areas of the building are accessible or off-limits, or the behaviour we think is appropriate during our worship and in our places of gathering.
By reflecting on the conventions and needs of those in our communities we can better understand what barriers to inclusion may be making it hard for people to participate.
This is not a definitive guide to making our worship accessible to every member of the community, but is a tool to help us ask pertinent questions as we consider how we might make reasonable adjustments to our worship and gathering spaces.
- Are we seeking to talk openly about the welcome we offer and how we express our hospitality?
- By reflecting on our own experiences of worship and community, can we identify any barriers to inclusion and suggest positive changes?
- Are we encouraging conversations that enable those who have been excluded to share their stories and experiences?
- Are we listening, learning and working together to create more inclusive worshipping communities?
- Who is included in the decision making process about how to order our worship and buildings?
- What can we learn from these reflections and conversations about how to make our church culture and worship more participative?