This is the statement we have adopted that makes us an official “Reconciling in Christ” congregation:
“We welcome all into the body of Christ.
“We acknowledge that the Church has condemned and excluded people because of their race, culture, age, gender identity, economic status, disability, and sexual orientation. We reject these divisions of humanity, recognizing the unity of all people in Christ.
“All are welcome to worship and participate in the life and ministries of Christ the King-Epiphany. We invite you to join us in the mission we share: to give thanks and praise to God and bear the good news of Jesus Christ to all the world.”
On June 1, 2014, Christ the King Lutheran Church affirmed and adopted our statement of welcome and by doing so we were designated as a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation.
People often ask “What does it mean to be a RIC congregation? The short answer is this: “RIC recognizes Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender believers.” Too many LGBT persons have had negative experiences in churches simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Identifying ourselves as an RIC congregation is a way to intentionally reach out and invite all people to join in our life and ministry. We want everyone to know that Christ the King is a safe place to worship God and serve our neighbors.
Learn more about RIC here: www.reconcilingworks.org
In 1976, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church declared that “homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church” (1976-A069). Since then, faithful Episcopalians have been working toward a greater understanding and radical inclusion of all of God’s children.
Along the way, The Episcopal Church has garnered a lot of attention, but with the help of organizations such as Integrity USA, the church has continued its work toward full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Episcopalians. In 2003, the first openly gay bishop was consecrated; in 2009, General Convention resolved that God’s call is open to all; in 2012, a provisional rite of blessing for same-gender relationships was authorized, and discrimination against transgender persons in the ordination process was officially prohibited; and in 2015, the canons of the church were changed to make the rite of marriage available to all people, regardless of gender.