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Reconciling in Christ
Since 1983, the Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program has been a public way for faith communities to see, name, celebrate, and advocate for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions in the Lutheran church. The RIC Program is made up of congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, outdoor ministries, and other Lutheran organizations.*
In May 2023, Calvary’s Congregational Council voted to begin the Reconciling in Christ process to develop a welcome statement and educate the congregation on why this is an important commitment for the Church today. A welcome statement is one of the four public commitments a congregation needs to make to receive the designation “Reconciling in Christ.” To lead this effort, a Core Team has been appointed to begin this work. Check back here and in Calvary’s newsletter for more resources as they become available!
Core Team Members
Synodical Deacon Tanya Lee Behnke
What are the four commitments of RIC?
Four public commitments:*
1. Clearly state a welcome to all people with a statement that meets certain criteria.
2. Be open to calling an LGBTQIA+ and Black, Brown, Indigenous, Person of Color pastor or deacon.
3. Allow the congregation’s worship space to be used for LGBTQIA+ weddings and blessings.
4. Make a meaningful contribution annually to support the national RIC program.
Guess what? Calvary already meets half of these commitments! In the past, Calvary has called a pastor who is openly gay, and there have been same gender weddings at Calvary. While the congregation is inclusive, the public proclamation gained by becoming Reconciling in Christ ensures that people outside of the congregation are aware of this fact.
*the commitments and RIC history are from the ReconcilingWorks website.
Read more here!
What does “reconciling” mean?
Reconcile: to restore friendly relations between.
For too long, the Church has not been a place of welcome for all people. Oftentimes, the Church has (at best) tolerated the presence of those deemed “different,” while not necessarily affirming their identities as God given and, at worst, outright condemned those of different sexualities or gender identities. To be reconciled means to have done the work of unlearning theology handed down that harms others, and to learn how the holy scripture testifies to a God who loves and creates all people in splendid diversity.
Until more resources are provided by the Core Team, read more here about what Calvary teaches.
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