Church. Religion. Spirituality. Beliefs. Community.
What do these words mean to you? How do these words connect, or do they? I want to share a few of my thoughts about these words.
Church. Most people think of a building, a specific location, you know 4 walls. I think of church as place where community is… wherever they are. Religion, is often thought of as the specific rules that the followed by those who subscribe to. I have two thoughts about religion, some are inclusive and some are divisive. The ones that are divisive contain words, rules, and rituals that are a collection of barriers, antiquated interpretations, and often promote violence. The ones that are inclusive, and there are some doing incredible work,
The Inclusive Life Center is not a religion, the IRS says we are a church, we say that we are not a typical church. We meet people where they are, we love people as they are, and welcome and include people regardless of who they are, where they are from, who they love, or what they believe. I am also a member of the First Unitarian Church of Omaha, where I assist in a lot of community outreach.
My beliefs include Omnism. Omnism is the recognition and respect of all religions; those who hold this belief are called Omnists. I concur with the Charter for Compassion “… to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures…”
I am credentialed and ordained clergy with The Inclusive Life Center in Omaha where I serve as a Chaplain. I share a message that each person is beautiful, loved and worthy, just as they are. The buffet of life allows each person to put on their plate the things that feed them. Most each person’s plate will be different, they will never be identical. And that is okay! I think we sometimes forget that although are plates may be different, it does not prevent us from gathering at the same table, and sharing peace, love, understanding, and compassion.
Inclusive Life Center
1941 S. 42nd Street, Suite 124
Omaha, NE 68105