Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Catoctin Presbyterian Church
In Christ, by the Spirit, we delight in all people!
- We will consciously seek to include and minister to people of different genders, ethnicities, orientations, economic status, physical and mental abilities, political affiliation, citizenship, and all the ways that people differ, as if including and ministering to Christ.
- We will not discriminate against anyone for any reason, other than in discerning matters of Christian faith and practice, treating each one as a Child of God.
- We will intentionally seek out voices, opinions, and resources outside our traditional sphere to broaden our understanding and appreciation of different viewpoints and experiences, including them in our leadership and ministry programming in order to better represent the fullness of Christ’s realm.
We will welcome into our membership anyone who makes a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and is baptized in the name of the Triune God, regardless of any other personal or social characteristics. We will welcome into our fellowship any person of good will who wishes to associate with us.
We will seek to include all manner of people in the leadership of the congregation, its governance, its committees, its works of mission and ministry. We will regularly review the broadness or narrowness of humanity present in our leadership positions.
We will seek to serve any of God’s children who are in need, paying special attention to the marginalized, the outcast, the downtrodden, the forgotten, and those who have little or no public voice or support. We will seek to partner with those we seek to serve, learning from them and helping as we can, rather than imposing our predetermined plan of assistance on them. We will be mindful of how our biases may shape or even misshape our perceptions of others and their needs. As a Matthew 25 congregation, we will strive to dismantle structural racism in our lives, our church, our community, and our world.
We will seek to build relationships with those outside our church family, sharing our faith stories and our best understanding of the Good News of Jesus Christ while listening to the stories of others. In this way we hope to find where our story, their stories, and God’s Story intersect for mutual upbuilding. We will learn from the stories of others so we can share and express a fuller understanding of God’s Story.
We will welcome all manner of people into our educational ministries as both leaders and students. We will seek to learn from theologians, teachers, authors, and publishing houses representing a variety of populations and points of view. We will seek to educate ourselves on the particular needs of various populations beyond the dominant culture.
We will welcome people of all backgrounds, foregrounds, and abilities to join us in worship. We will regularly include different types of people in worship leadership. We will be mindful of how our use of language can be more and less inclusive, and choose the more. We will strive to make our worship physically accessible to all. We will strive to make our worship intellectually accessible to all. We will seek to use a variety of liturgical resources that reflect more than the dominant culture, while seeking not simply to appropriate elements of other cultures.
We will extend pastoral care to any and all of our church family, regardless of their past or current situation. We will seek to be especially mindful of those who experience marginalization for such things as mental or physical illness, poverty or financial hardship, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity or citizenship status, age, or any of the countless other ways humans differentiate themselves. We will seek to offer the love, mercy, grace, and justice of Jesus Christ to all whose spirits are broken, sore, or tender.
We will encourage prayerful stewardship and generosity of time, talent, and treasure from all our members, appreciating people’s different economic status and people’s unique giftedness from God.
Operations, Building, and Grounds:
We will seek, in our business dealings, to avoid supporting businesses or organizations that are known to be exclusionary or indifferent to the needs of marginalized people. We will seek to support minority owned businesses whenever feasible. Otherwise, we will encourage vendors to greater inclusivity in their own dealings. We will make our space available equally to all without regard to such things as race or ethnicity, age (except for age requirements for certain permissions and protections), gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, etc. We will seek to improve our buildings, grounds, and physical assets to increase accessibility to all people.