"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5: 18-19a). [NIV]
Kenwood has long been a congregation that welcomes and includes a variety of different people. In 2008 we decided to formalize our tradition of inclusiveness when we voted unanimously to become a Reconciling Congregation and adopted the following reconciling statement:
Kenwood United Methodist Church embraces Jesus' message that God loves and accepts every person. We seek to preserve the beautiful, amazing diversity of God's creation, and we affirm that our hearts, our minds, and our doors are open to people of every age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, economic condition, and physical or mental ability. We strive to fulfill the reconciliation given us in Christ Jesus, so that God's ever-unfolding love may be fully realized in us all and in our communities.
As a Reconciling Congregation we have joined with a host of other United Methodist Churches and groups to extend our welcome and God's love to our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered neighbors. We have also joined a network of United Methodist Churches who are not only committed to being welcoming, but are also committed to making our entire denomination more open and welcoming of GLBT people.
Our commitment to living out the notion of an inclusive welcome is manifest in activities such as our small group ministry on "Being a Reconciling Congregation" which any member of the congregation can join, in services on Reconciling Sunday, and in adult education sessions that help us learn more about ways that we can be more intentional in our inclusiveness. We welcome other ideas of ways that we can live out our pledge as a Reconciling Congregation.