Mission Moment: Reconciling in Christ Congregations

 

Following Jesus, who commanded his followers, ‘Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another,’ and believing that all persons are created in the image of God, the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA, strives to be fully inclusive for all. This synod welcomes people of every race, background, age, political affiliation, economic and social status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and mental and physical ability, while striving to enable all people to participate fully in the life and work of the church and its expressions.

Several of our congregations in south-central Wisconsin have also taken steps to be intentionally welcoming to the LGBTQIA+ community. These congregations are identified as Reconciling in Christ congregations. By having a statement affirming this welcome that specifically names either, “LGBTQIA+ people” or “people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions” in their statement, these faith communities are accepted into the Reconciling in Christ partnership with ReconcilingWorks.

We congratulate our latest congregation who just voted to become a welcoming RIC congregation:

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Madison and Verona)

All congregations create welcome statements. Here is a beautiful example from Good Shepherd:

“We welcome all to Good Shepherd. Everyone. Without exception. This welcome includes those shunned by society and by churches because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental abilities, financial resources, and family status, no matter what you have done or has been done to you, no matter what darkness you have struggled with, now or in the past. In this large, beautifully diverse world, we invite you to a community where we all belong. Whether you are a believer, a doubter or a seeker, in Christ’s love, we welcome you. By the power of the Holy Spirit we will work to extend God’s grace, love, justice, and dignity inside and outside our church. You are a Child of God. You belong here with your whole self. Your story and your life are valuable, here at Good Shepherd, and in the world. We welcome you.”

Other RIC Congregations in our synod

East
Deerfield Lutheran Church – Deerfield
West
First Lutheran Church – Lone Rock
South
St. John’s Lutheran Church – Evansville
Luther Memorial Lutheran Church – Delevan
Madison Area
Lake Edge Lutheran Church – Madison
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church – Madison
Trinity Lutheran Church – Madison
St. John’s Lutheran Church – Madison
Luther Memorial Lutheran Church – Madison
Lutheran Campus Center at UW – Madison
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church – Madison
St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church – Monona
Peace Lutheran Church – Waunakee
Midvale Community Lutheran Church – Madison
Advent Lutheran Church – Madison
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church – Madison

Thank you to the RIC team, chaired by Rev. Nick Utphall, Advent Lutheran/Madison Christian Community (Madison). Several of these team members have led educational workshops at synod events to help us to be more welcoming and to learn how to become RIC congregations.

If your congregation is interested in learning more about becoming an RIC congregation, visit the synod website for more information: For a list of the team members, visit the synod website: https://scsw-elca.org/lgbtq/