What does it mean to be a welcoming congregation, especially to people in the LGBTQ community?
During the summer of 2017, the Inclusive Church Taskforce hosted a series of brunches at the church to build community and focus us towards what it means for us to not just be welcoming in general, but to intentionally welcome people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
Throughout the 2017-2018 program year, the Inclusive Church Taskforce lead us deeper into this work, which included education, relationship building, and discernment.
- In May, the Inclusive Church Taskforce presented a draft of their welcome statement and received over 150 replies to their survey. The next steps were to reflect on the survey feedback, revise the welcome statement as necessary, and work with the church council to determine a timeline, strategy, and goals for our congregation going forward toward becoming a Reconciling In Christ (RIC) congregation. RIC is a designation for Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
- In October 2018, a nearly unanimous decision was approved to finalize the Welcome Statement, thereby we became a Reconciling in Christ congregation. We were overjoyed at having taken this step and we are living this out in our life together. Thank you to all who participated in the process, especially to the members of the Inclusive Church Task Force