Last week I shared about how the Holy Spirit has been at work at Christ the King through our acceptance into the Congregations Lead Initiative offered by the Churchwide expression of the ELCA. Well...
The mighty winds of the Holy Spirit haven't stopped rushing there...they've been blowing among our council too.
A bit of backstory: for some time Christ the King has striven to be a welcoming and inclusive place for those from the LGBTQIA+ community. This goes back to CtK's roots and the leadership of Pastor Steve Nelson. Even before I was a pastor here at CtK and working with many congregations, I knew that this congregation had an openness to all people, including the LGBTEIA+ community.
But here's the thing...Lutherans who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community, don't necessarily know that we are a welcoming and affirming congregation. When we say, "all are welcome here," we literally mean ALL-- that's NOT the case in many churches. Because of that, there's an organization called Reconciling Works who partners with congregations to help them become what's called Reconciling in Christ congregations. Theses congregations are OPENLY welcoming and affirming to the LGBTQIA+ community. Here's a little video on why that matters:
So...in considering Christ the King's past and our core value of being welcoming and inclusive, the CtK church council has decided to begin the process toward becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation.
Now...becoming an RIC congregation doesn't happen in a day, and it's not decided completely by the council. Rather, the ENTIRE CONGREGATION will have an opportunity to be part of this process of discernment. At the end of it all, based on how the conversation goes, the congregation will vote on whether or not to be an Reconciling in Christ congregation.
So what's next with this?
First -- our Reconciling in Christ team will attend a training on how to facilitate this process for our congregation. We give thanks for Sonja Dyreson, Jeff Otto, Laura Albrent, and Kelly Vils who will serve on this team.
From there, the team will open up opportunities for discussion and discernment on the scriptural and theological basis for welcoming and affirming LGBTQIA+ folks, and after we have all walked the journey of discernment together, our congregation will vote.
WHEW! That's a LOT of Spirit movement! But it's ALL good and ALL examples of how God's love is coming to life here at Christ the King!
Peace be the journey,