Pastor's Blog

What Does 'All' Mean To You?

What Does 'All' Mean To You?

Amy Daniels - March 22, 2021

This year, God has been making this quote of Martin Luther’s alive for me in new ways… It has been one of my favorites for a long time.  A calligraphy of the words hangs in my office.  I know that I have much to learn, my faith continues to grow, and there is much work left to do on my own self, and for the betterment of this world. 

I have come to know that I must attend to the issue of racism every day lest I return to my privileged life not having to attend to it. To this end, I participated in our church’s 21Day challenge last summer. I joined the ELCA NC Synod’s

and have taken The Rev. Dr. Shanitria Cuthbertson’s course “The Hidden Curriculum of White Supremacy” available in that network. I did The United Way’s 21 Day Challenge this winter (totally new resources since last summer). I have joined in an effort to continue learning through daily readings and videos. I have participated in McPIE’s Let’s Race class led by Kelli Cook.  Through this I have read, watched videos and movies, and continue to learn.

I pray that I continue to listen, and speak more often and in more circles of influence and say that I have MUCH more to learn, and even more to do to try to be an ally in the fight to end racism, its systemic policies and procedures.  I encourage each and every one of you to push yourself to embrace that this life is about becoming and growing!  If your path takes you to growth in understanding and fighting racism, I would love to hear from you and encourage any or all of the paths I mentioned.

As part of this work, our Integration Team wants ALL people to feel welcomed at Christ Lutheran, and Pastor Scott asked us all to write our own definition of what “ALL” means. Each person helps enlighten what all means. It is no simple task. This is long, but important. I hope you will continue through to the end… Here are our takes:

Cheryl Waymer: ALL means every person created. If they breathe, God created them. I have to remember that we are writing this because we want to ensure that ALL who come to get closer to God and become more like Christ through Christ Lutheran is a blessing to Christ Lutheran. God could have sent them anywhere and He is blessing the congregation to be a part of moving ALL closer to Him. 

Therefore, I must welcome and shepherd ALL He sends. I must also realize that we ALL look, think, move, speak and understand uniquely. What must I do to receive ALL, provide to ALL, share with ALL and articulate towards ALL so that it is pleasing to God? I have to be open to ALL and look to God to equip me to be open to ALL. This is what ALL means to me.

Ron Cox: All.

A little word.  A loaded word.

All.  Inclusive.  Welcoming. Inviting.  

All means those who look like me, and those who don’t.

All means those who look like me, and those who don’t.

All means those who act like me, and those who don’t.

All means that person in the mirror I see every morning, and that person down the street who refers to me as “one of THOSE.”

All means those who make my skin crawl. Because many feel the same of me.

All means those whose very presence in a room puts me in ill temper.  Because many are immediately disgusted by me.

All means those who, if they had their way, would have me deported or incarcerated or worse.  Because, quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind if some of them just went away.

All means those I can’t stand, and who can’t stand me.

Because if all doesn’t mean these things, then it doesn’t mean me.

It means that I must forever and regularly remind myself that I will never stare into the face of a human being whom God doesn’t love, or for whom Jesus Christ did not die.

Nobody ever said being a Christian was easy.  And it ain’t. 

All.  Means.  All.

Caroline Rose Targonski : All means living out The Luke 14 Mandate.

All means an open invitation for all God’s children to come to His banquet table.

All means God’s arms and His kingdom doors swung open wide for all - the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick, and people with or without disabilities.

All means ALL are one in Jesus Christ, as “there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female” (Galatians 3:28).

All means celebrating and valuing the beauty in the diversity of the body of Christ (1Corinthians 12).

All means reaching out to, respecting, and learning from those who are different from us.

All means committing to the full inclusion and equitable participation of all people within the church.

All means we ALL have a seat at the table.

Inez Serventi: We welcome ALL

Our faith in Christ Jesus guides us in welcoming and receiving ALL:

ALL means….

The persons you think should be here because you are comfortable with them.  They make it easy for you to be here.

ALL means…

The persons you think maybe shouldn’t be here because you are uncomfortable with them or something about them.   You feel challenged by their presence because of the differences between you.   You may be different from them in skin color or race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, faith history and experience, age/generation, level of income, level of education, political ideation, physical and mental health and capability. There will most definitely be differences in worldly privilege and power. You might like that or you might feel badly about that.

ALL means….

Responding to the call of the Holy Spirit as a faithful community.  The Holy Spirit has called us ALL to this time and place to bring forth a community that reflects the diversity of ALL God’s children.  As followers of Christ, we will be asked to do some hard work, to give up some things – not to show we are good people, but to manifest God’s love in this world so that truth, justice and reconciliation can be realized.  The comfortable in all of us will need to embrace the uncomfortable in each of us and in each other.  Not easy, but necessary.  We will ALL need God for this God-sized task.   So may we welcome the discomfort of discernment, growth, inclusion, transformation , forgiveness and reconciliation to bring forth God’s ALL encompassing, reconciling, just and merciful love in this place and time.  We welcome ALL.


Pastor Scott Suskovic: All means no stink eye!

All means people of all skin color worshiping together without feelings of superiority

All means gay and straight people praying together without passing judgment

All means democrats and republicans in fellowship as friends without name calling

All means abled and disabled children of God serving side by side without a sense of pity

All means poor and rich giving generously without comparisons

All means men and women having equal opportunities.

All means living in the messy middle of life instead of insisting on either pole.

All means respecting the differences even when I don’t fully understand them.

All means that which unites us is none of the above but rather faith in Jesus.

All means no stink eye!

Amy Daniels:  All means those in power in any relationship reaching out to understand before we are understood.  All means respecting differences,

so...All means a substantial number of white middleclass people speaking up for equality and equity for people of all skin colors, abilities, sexual preferences, etc.

All means straight people reaching out to welcome gay people.

All means able bodied people understanding and encouraging disabled people.

All means rich people supporting policies that help elevate poor people’s opportunities. 

All means men looking for opportunities to include women in business, etc…

All means that those in power are willing to give up that advantage to be sure that those on the fringes get opportunities.

All means knowing that our faith in Jesus unites us.

All means knowing that our faith in Jesus unites us.