The Hawaiian language has a wonderful term:  "hanai" **

While its dictionary defintion is "adopted," it is a much, much richer term than that.  "Hanai" implies a relationship that is made by choice.  So where we might say "he was like a father to me," the Hawaiian expression is more compact:  "He's my hanai Dad."  A "hanai" relationship is just as important, just as real, as a biological one.  The term implies choice, commitment, and a conviction that human beings can unite in relationship across lines that might ordinarily seek to divide: class, race, gender, sexual orientation, urban/rural, and so on.

The beauty and the genius of First Christian Church -- and indeed our whole Disciples of Christ movement of which this congregation is a part -- is that when we are at our best we seek to live out the conviction that (if I were to put it in Hawaiian terms) we are all, under God, "hanai" brothers and sisters.  And brothers and sisters -- whether by birth, biology, or choice -- are ones who always seek to focus on what unites them, and on what they can do in service for the world.

And so while we use the term "family" at First Christian Church, it is never, ever "code" for an exclusionary, judgmental approach to who's "in" and who's "out."  Wherever you are on your own spiritual journey, whatever your state and status in life, you will be truly welcome here.  Bring your questions, bring your worries, even bring your disagreements with God.  Here you will find a lively and life-giving group of folks who are convinced that God calls us to transcend the too often inconsequential stuff that divides, stuff that is not of God at all, lines that are drawn that in fact grieve the God who would welcome and love all!

For, as one of our sayings has it, "Where you won't be judged, where you won't be told what you 'have to' believe, where ALL are truly welcome."  Come widen our hanai family!

If you have questions, email, call, or Facebook us.

Chuck Blaisdell
Senior Pastor

**In case you're wondering why a Hawaii reference in Colorado, my wife, the Rev. Barbara Blaisdell, and I, spent five years serving churches in Hawaii.