This course will explore your relationship with issues of inclusion and exclusion – in the church and elsewhere – and allow you to develop your thinking and the sort of church and type of welcome you want to be and express.
Inclusion and exclusion can happen in many ways and for many different reasons – different abilities, skin colour or sexuality as well as levels of education, marital status, health, or being ‘new around here’ and many others.
Over four sessions the Radical Welcome course aims to help churches go beyond being welcoming or inclusive to being Radically Welcoming. The course was devised by the United Reformed Church (URC) and is currently hosted by Inclusive Church.
The course is aimed at churches of all types and sizes. All churches think that they are friendly and welcoming – indeed this has come up many times in our recent Church Review work. Radical Welcome is an opportunity for churches to think through their welcome from the perspective of being inclusive – to look from the outside in; to consider whether the church is inviting, inclusive or radically welcoming.
The course runs over four sessions of 1.5 hours. The sessions are:
- The Washing Line. An activity based session – for people of all ages. An opportunity for people to get to know one another and to reflect on the nature and identity of their church – and begin to identify how inclusive it is.
- Remembering Exclusion. Using reflective narrative, the session enables participants to use their own memories of exclusion as a basis for reflecting on “what does it mean to be welcomed?”
- How radical are we in our welcome? To help people begin to see how being Radically Welcoming might impact in their context. The session uses images and small group discussion.
- The journey to Radical Welcome. What type of congregation are we?
To help people consider whether the church is inviting, inclusive or radically welcoming. The session uses group activity and discussion to explore this. The session draws together things that people have discovered and hope for as a result of taking part in Radical Welcome.