Coming into a church worship gathering you don’t know is brave. You are the stranger for a bit. You wait for cues to tell you how the community does things, or, like, where the bathroom is. Maybe you feel overdressed. Maybe you feel underdressed. Will I connect? Will I understand what’s going on? Can I be me? Can I ask hard questions?
We continue to be impressed by people vulnerable and hopeful enough to seek out a church home. Some of you may be long-time Christians, others are coming from completely different traditions, and some of you are perhaps sticking your toes in the water of faith for the first time. We desire to be a community open and hospitable to all types of people, at whatever stage of the journey you might be in. (And, so you know, you are welcome to dress in whatever way makes you feel comfortable.)
Santa Monica Nazarene has been in the midst of this bustling beach city since the 1920s. We have a rich history but are always seeking to cultivate fresh expressions of being the church as we live into the mission of God. If there is one defining characteristic of our church, it is that we are people captivated by the beautiful life and ministry of Jesus Christ. We want to be like him, loving and serving the people around us for his sake.
So, church visitors, keep coming. There is a reason our sign says “All Are Welcome,” and it’s not just because we’re too lazy to change the lettering every week. You’re not only welcome, but you’re wanted, in whatever way you choose to come, for however long you choose to stay.