All Are Welcome (ELW 641, Verse 1)
1 Let us build a house
Where love can dwell
And all can safely live
A place where
Saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive
Built of hopes and dreams and visions
Rock of faith and vault of grace
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions
All are welcome, all are welcome
All are welcome in this place
I was a major gift officer representing the college from which she had graduated—a school with a well-established reputation for being a progressive, left leaning institution. She was an octogenarian, a right leaning, Phoenix, Arizona alumna.
The school had recently begun a $150 million dollar campaign for some new buildings on campus. She knew who I represented. She knew why I was coming to see her. She agreed to the visit.
I had not even settled into the chair before she began to lambast me. “You people always attack folks like me assuming we are cold hearted, skin-flints, who don’t give a rip about anybody but ourselves.”
I listened, sipped my coffee instead when I felt like responding, nodded, asked questions, and gently pushed for more information. Our two-hour conversation ended with a smile from her and an invitation to come back again. We had begun to build a relationship.
Master builder you do not live in any building built by human hands. You desire to make of us a living, breathing, structure in which all are welcome to dwell in love and safety. Tear down the walls that divide us. Let your justice reign and your peace abide for all. Amen.