LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Synod Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Task Force

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. You may click on a congregation below to learn more:

Madison Area

East

West

South

Synod Outreach

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin was at the OutReach Magic Festival held on Sunday, August 18, 2019 at Warner Park in Madison. The OutReach Magic Festival: A PRIDE Celebration event for 2019 celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall and the 30th Anniversary of Madison’s first pride parade.

At our synod tent we had representatives from area ELCA congregations that have made an intentional commitment to be welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community who engaged festival goers throughout the day.

We also invited people to write on quilt squares their hopes, dreams, prayers, and messages for, with, or to the LGBTQ+ community in the church. This quilt will continue to be a presence in the synod for the next year.

It was a great day full of deep connections, fellowship, and a chance to provide public witness and celebration of the Gospel.

Resources

  • Pastoral Intern Tamara Siburg (She/Her/Hers) is currently serving at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mt. Horeb and shares a list of resources for those who are interested in deepening your understanding to topics of LGBTQIA+ in regard to religion and faith in honor of Pride month 2021. This list includes a new book called Made, Known, Loved written by ELCA Deacon Ross Murray that is about developing LGBTQ inclusive youth ministry. You can see her entire list by clicking HERE.
  • The Trevor Project was Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, and is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. Learn more HERE.
  • GLAAD provides an amazing list of online resources on their website HERE. GLAAD works through entertainment, news, and digital media to share stories from the LGBTQ community that accelerate acceptance.
  • Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries organizes queer seminarians and rostered ministers, confronts barriers and systemic oppression, and activates queer ideas and movements within the Lutheran Church. Learn more HERE.
  • The new Lavender Book App is a crowd-sourced app created by the National Black Justice Coalition and Out In Tech, that aims to record safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people of color. The app allows users to narrow down places through various filters — such as whether American Sign Language is spoken, gender-neutral restrooms are available or if there’s a wheelchair ramp on site. Learn more HERE.

RIC Program

The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations. Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are accepted onto the Reconciling in Christ Roster. 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 and insights. Learn more about the RIC program through ReconcilingWorks.