“All this is from God who reconciled us through Jesus Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:18
On May 3, 2009, in a Special Congregational Meeting Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church passed a motion to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation. Not only is 2014 the 100th anniversary of GA Church but it marks our 5th anniversary of becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation.
What is the Reconciling in Christ Program?
In 1984 Lutherans Concerned / North America started the Reconciling in Christ (“RIC”) Program to recognize Lutheran congregations that welcome lesbian and gay believers. During the 2002 LC/NA Assembly, members took action to include people
of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the RIC Program. The Reconciling in Christ Roster now exceeds 300 settings, including congregations, synods and organizations.
Click Here to go to the Reconciling Works website
All people are welcome here. Why should we single out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people?
The RIC Program doesn’t seek special treatment for LGBT people. The reality is, however, that we live in a time where the voices of fear and ignorance dominate the public discussion of human sexuality issues in our society. Most often these judgmental voices of irrational fear are all that is heard. In fact, Lutherans Concerned continues to learn of Lutheran churches that shun LGBT people. Sometimes their parents and family are even vilified and attacked by church members.
As a result, it is assumed by most LGBT people that they are not welcome in any church unless told otherwise.
Even a general statement of welcome is heard as really meaning “everybody but me,” so it takes a special effort to communicate the same welcome. The RIC Program seeks to make clearer the policy of churches where all people are welcome as full members, regardless of their sexual orientation, their gender identity or that of their children, siblings or friends.
What is the Affirmation of Welcome?
The single element that is central to the program is the Affirmation of Welcome. It is simple, yet powerful in its witness. Any group that adopts it or a similar statement which includes the naming of LGBT people as welcome to full participation is eligible to be designated as Reconciling in Christ after review by Lutherans Concerned. Making the Affirmation promotes a publicly inclusive ministry and helps heal the pain of doubt.
Affirmation of Welcome/Welcome Statement of Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church proclaims that the Gospel is God’s gift to all people, to be shared unconditionally. We rejoice in the manner in which diversity has enriched, nurtured and challenged the life and ministry we share in Christ. We know that the world is often an unloving place and that the experience of alienation is all too common. Because Christ reconciles us, we welcome people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, physical and mental abilities, educational levels, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We strive to be an evermore welcoming community. Following the example of Christ, we extend a most heartfelt welcome to all.
If at any time, you have questions regarding RIC issues, please contact one of the RIC Task Force members.
Members of the RIC Task Force:
Gary and Sundra Arvidson
Phil Holzman (612-789-7256, ext. 11 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Diane Ott-Hager (612-789-7256, ext. 12 or email@example.com)