This story is absolutely fascinating to me.
Forget about “contemporary” and “traditional” services.
A church in Wisconsin has now created a service targeted specifically at registered sex offenders since, by law, they can’t be around children and, let’s be honest, most “upstanding” church members wouldn’t want to share a pew with them anyway.
Apparently, they haven’t had anyone attend yet, but they’re going to keep at it.
For those on the outside of the church, and many within her doors, this idea probably sounds a bit reprehensible. After all, you don’t get much worse than someone who sexually abuses a child, or anyone else for that matter. Shouldn’t we be locking our doors and pointing them out in public as the devil incarnate?
So, what is this church thinking?
Well, and I know you may not like it and I’m not completely comfortable with it myself, I think what this church is doing is trying to be like Jesus.
I think they’re trying to take seriously God’s call to take care of and minister to the outcast, even when that outcast is someone who is sick and has been in prison.
Like it our not, perfect or not, I think this church is trying to live out the kingdom of God on earth by extending grace and forgiveness to those who need it the most.
It might seem easy to criticize this church, but how exactly would we go about doing that?
Do we tell them that sex offenders don’t deserve grace and forgiveness?
I hope not, because last time I checked, neither do any of us.
Church offers service for sex offenders — and gets no takers
By Larry Mcshane / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A Wisconsin church offered a special church service for convicted sex offenders — but none of the sinners showed for their shot at spiritual redemption.
The First Congregational Church of Christ opened its doors for the first service on Feb. 23, only to find no worshippers from its target audience appeared.
Undeterred, the Madison-based church will continue the program every other Thursday through May.
“We truly want to be a church where everyone is welcome,” parishioner Susan Heneman told the Wisconsin State Journal. “We have to live this out, not just say it on paper.”
The program is an extension of the parish’s Prison Ministry, which typically works with those still behind bars.
The church bans all children from the church building during the services — a move that allows the sex offenders to attend without violating the terms of their release.