This past weekend, I attended a writing retreat.  It was sponsored by a university organization that helps teachers use writing in their classes.  The idea behind the retreat is that by encouraging teachers to write, they can better encourage their students to write.

I’m a writer but I’m not a teacher so how did I end up going?  I know the woman who organized it.  She invited me to go.

When she was contacted by a professor with small children who needed to work on the rewrite of a journal article.  Could she come so she could focus on her writing?  Technically, she hasn’t been through the program but the answer was still YES.  Please join us!

This experience has me looking around with open eyes.  How often do we say no, this is for just this group when we could say YES?

The Methodist church just did this with gay members who have been called as clergy.

Many other groups do this with communion  – you have to belong to partake.

Children’s programs that are only open to preschoolers.

Sunday school classes that are for adults.

Bible studies that are for the women of the church.

How many times do we build a wall by narrowly focusing who is welcome?  My suggestion? Let’s start breaking up these walls with doors and throw them wide open.  Christ, after all, has enough love to share.