ReconcilingWorks Strategic Plan

At its January 2015 meeting, the Board of Directors adopted a new two-year strategic plan. The plan is derived from ReconcilingWorks’ ongoing mission: to embody, inspire, advocate, and organize for the acceptance and full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities within the Lutheran communion and its ecumenical and global partners, striving to dismantal injustice and oppression.

Strategic plans represent the realization of an organization’s mission by identifying specific emphases and goals. They provide both a measure by which current action can be evaluated and a guide toward future action. In developing ReconcilingWorks’ programming priorities and budget, the following strategic directions will guide planning:

 DEEPEN & EXPAND THE RECONCILING IN CHRIST (RIC) PROGRAMDeepen & Expand the Reconciling in Christ Program

From the very beginning in 1974, ReconcilingWorks has provided safe space, a ministry of education, and advocacy toward moving the Lutheran church to be a more welcoming place. In 1984, the Reconciling in Christ program was begun to identify congregations and other church organizations as safe, welcoming communities of faith. Currently, ReconcilingWorks has recognized over 500 congregations and over 100 other settings (synods, seminaries, and colleges) as publicly and intentionally welcoming. We rejoice in this number, yet we know it represents five percent of Lutheran congregations in North America. We are committed to deepening and expanding the RIC program by:

  • Working with existing RIC settings to encourage them to accompany new settings through their RIC journey

  • Engaging and equipping RIC settings in LGBT advocacy opportunities

  • Hosting “Building an Inclusive Church” trainings in targeted regions, states, and congregations as a way to increase RIC settings in areas of the country where LGBT support is not the cultural norm

  • Deepening our partnerships with RIC settings, encouraging them to include a financial contribution to support the RIC program so that we may double the number of RIC settings


Build & Strengthen Relationships with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) & the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)

Much of our success in leading the Lutheran church to become a more welcoming place has come from our graceful engagement with, and from within, all levels of church governance and polity. We work from the “bottom up” through grassroots organizing on an individual and congregational basis. And we work from the “top down” through partnering with elected leaders and denominational staff. We are committed to building and strengthening relationships with the ELCA and ELCIC by:

  • Building supportive coalitions of Lutheran bishops, churchwide staff, clergy, lay leaders, and congregations for collaboration, partnership, accountability, and advocacy

  • Expanding and maintaining ELCA and ELCIC policies and positions that are LGBT affirming

  • Mobilizing Lutherans to achieve and ensure full participation in all ministries of the Church, including marriage

  • Working to make supportive LGBT policy changes lived experiences at churchwide, regional, synodical, and congregational levels

  • Committing to being present and prepared for synod assemblies and churchwide gatherings

Dismantle Injustice Based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression, Race, Ethnicity & Other Categories through a Lutheran Lens

We are Lutherans working with the recognition that racism, sexism, ageism, able-ism, heterosexism, homophobia— and all the other artificial distinctions that seek to raise one group into privilege and preference over another—conspire together to diminish our world and church. None of us is free until all are free. We advocate for systemic change in policy and practice in church and society, working to alleviate not only the painful symptoms of oppression but also to eliminate its root causes. We are committed to dismantling injustice by:

  • Mobilizing Lutherans to achieve equal protection in employment, public accommodations, and public services for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions
  • Defeating potential anti-LGBT religious refusal legislation and ballot initiatives that seek to deny goods and services to LGBT people and families
  • Building coalitions and standing in solidarity with those working to create the beloved community where all may worship and thrive by putting faith into action

Sustainably Fund the Mission

Through faith-based community organizing, we organize people and money to build power to bring about the change we seek. As national momentum builds, our current revenue streams are changing. We are committed to sustainably funding ReconcilingWorks’ mission by:

  • Increasing awareness of the need for individual contributions from our membership and contacts
  • Broadening and deepening our major-donor base
  • Increasing our monthly givers to 1,600 individuals or households at a minimum of $25 per month
  • Engaging former donors who are currently inactive to reignite their giving