Are Welcome Here!
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.
On May 3, 2009 in a Special Congregational
Meeting Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church passed a
motion to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation.
To get some general
information about RIC, click here.
In preparation for the vote on May
3, GA offered several opportunities to become informed
and to discuss this issue. Click
here or see below for what we have offered.
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:
Phil Holzman (612-789-7256, ext.
17 or email@example.com)
Diane Ott-Hager (612-789-7256, ext.
12 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Pr. Stefan Rickman (612-789-7256,
ext. 13 or email@example.com)
preparation for the May 3 vote, Members were mailed
the following information. Please
read the Letter
sent to all Members and other information that
was mailed with it. All mailings are listed and can
be accessed below.
sent to all Members-Page 1
sent to all Members-Page 2
of RIC Activities at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran
of Spring 2008 Survey
Decision about the Reconciling in Christ Program
is the Reconciling in Christ Program?
information about RIC can be found at the bottom of
the Faith Formation
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.
All people are welcome here. Why should we
single out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered
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
How do we become designated as RIC?
Most groups start the process of consideration by
engaging in a study program or series of educational
meetings. Hearing the experiences of LGBT people and
their families often creates greater understanding
A congregation, synod or other organization joins
the program in one of several ways: by having its
council (or equivalent body) approve the "Affirmation
of Welcome" or by having a vote of the whole
congregation. Once the Affirmation is adopted, the
congregation, synod or organization sends a copy of
the Affirmation with a signed letter to the RIC Executive.
When the Affirmation is reviewed, the congregation,
synod or organization will be added to the roster
of RIC participants. This roster is carried on our
web site and is distributed appropriately as a witness
to the community and the church at large.
What will happen if we participate?
What you do once the Affirmation is adopted is up
to your own congregation, synod or organization. Many
churches post their Affirmation or include it in their
bulletin. Others make an inclusive reference in their
advertising or include the RIC Program in their annual
budget. Once you adopt an Affirmation of Welcome,
take a look at "Your Church is RIC: Now What?"
a guide full of voluntary action steps for inclusive
Experience shows that any changes in your church or
group will happen slowly, opening up individuals to
healing and deep spiritual reconciliation. Perhaps
parents with a gay son may finally be able to feel
they are not guilty of failure in raising their child.
Maybe a closeted lesbian member will bring her partner
to church for the first time. A bisexual or transgendered
person, hearing of your congregation, might return
to church after an absence of many years. It's amazing
how the Holy Spirit works when we are willing to be
an instrument of God's grace.
"All this is from God who reconciled us through Jesus Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:18