Radical Welcome Course

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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.

There will be two chances to join the course – on a Monday afternoon and a Tuesday evening.

Mondays at 2pm: April 12th, April 19th, April 26th, May 17th. Register here
Tuesdays at 7.30pm: April 13th, April 20th, April 27th, May 4th. Register here.

Course Outline

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.

Course Structure

The course runs over four sessions of 1.5 hours. The sessions are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?”
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Further Reading

The officially recommended book is Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other, and the Spirit of Transformation by Stephanie Spellers. This is available from Bookshop.org or Amazon.
I would also recommend Space For Grace: Creating inclusive churches by Giles Goddard. This is available from Eden, Bookshop.org or Amazon

In the Methodist Church

The Methodist Church has a long history of working for justice and equality, yet there is still more work to be done, and the church has committed to the Inclusive Methodist Church Strategy. Further work on this is progressing, including the Methodist Strategy for Justice, Dignity and Solidarity which will be presented to this Summer’s Methodist Conference.