Welcome to Winterfield!

Welcome to our church. We have one rule of welcome here: Eveybody is welcome. There are no exceptions to this, and we feel it is our responsibility to remind the world that we are all beloved creations of God and welcome to worship here in this church that belongs to Jesus Christ and not to us.

We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, straight, filthy rich, dirt poor, speak English or don’t. We extend an extra special welcome to those who are crying new-borns or screaming toddlers, skinny as a rail or could afford to lose a few pounds.

We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or like many of us already here can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woke up or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than the Pope, more Methodist than John Wesley, more Lutheran than Martin Luther, more Baptist than Billy Graham, or haven’t been in church since little Joey’s Baptism.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, paleos, vegans, and junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like “organized religion.” (Many of us have been there, too.)

We welcome those who loudly shout “Amen” or “Hallelujah” at any point in the service and those who want to sit silently until the service is over; those who pray with their hands lifted high overhead and those who quietly fold their hands and bow their heads; those who want to dance up and down the aisles as well as those who are pretty sure lightening will strike them if they so much as sway or clap along to the music.

If you hear the call of God through scripture to tithe with the first 10% of all you receive, if you’ve struggled to save $5 to put in the plate, or if you blew all your offering money at the horse races, you’re welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those who don’t think they belong here or don’t think they’re good enough to be here (just wait until you get to know us better), those who work too hard, don’t work, have no formal education, hold multiple degrees, can’t spell, or are only here because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid, have been hurt by the church in the past, like to say you’re spiritual but not religious, or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, nones, dones, seekers, doubters, and those who don’t know what any of those words have to do with faith.

We welcome the cold-hearted, the warm-hearted, the hard-hearted, the soft-hearted, those with bleeding hearts or hurting hearts. … but most of all, most of all, we especially welcome you, whoever you might be, however you might look, and in whatever way you might describe yourself! We welcome you to your church!

*A special thank you to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and Central Church of Galveston for helping contribute to this statement.

Steven Newcomb