From the Diversity Team: Everyday Diversity

Wednesday, August 7

8-7By Peter Smith of Odessa, Florida, USA

Hear, O my people of the church, I am Jesus Christ of whom you have sung and testified and in whose name you pray. I am the spirit of love and peace which is in the world and yet not known by the world.

—Doctrine and Covenants 157:11

The incredible diversity we encounter every day in the world constantly amazes me. God created each of us uniquely, gifting us with talents and abilities, filling us with hopes and dreams and blessing us with opportunities to live to our potential.

We live in a worldwide community of more than 7 billion people, and Community of Christ Enduring Principles challenge members. Unity in Diversity celebrates the traits and characteristics that make each person unique. Yet, we also find many common threads that connect us as God’s children. Our Creator “views all people precious.” God calls us to accept this challenge wholeheartedly and without reservation.

As a pastor, I have been blessed to experience moments of Unity in Diversity. During a baptismal service, three people chose to enter the waters of baptism.

Max recently had turned 8, and he was excited to begin his journey as a disciple. Bob, a retiree, had been a part of the congregation for years. One day he recognized a sincere need within his heart to take his commitment to the next level. A friend had introduced Sherry to the congregation. She had found herself loved and accepted in a way she had never felt before.

Each chose baptism for a different reason, but this day we celebrated as a united body—the body of Christ.

The congregation had an opportunity to share statements of support for each baptismal candidate. As members shared, I looked in awe around the room at these disciples of Jesus Christ. Each came to this place because of a unique story. They united in one common goal: to grasp the mission of Christ as their own. We celebrate our diversity united by our faith in Jesus Christ!

Prayer for Peace
Creator God, having chosen to follow Christ, we pray we will be the reason the world will come to know him. May we share his peace with all nationalities, races, ethnicities, age groups, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities. And may we find we are more alike than different.

Spiritual Practice: Welcoming Unity in Diversity

Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle.

Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “dangerous” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep us from loving one another.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will sing and testify of Christ so this diverse world will know him.

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