Here are downloadable resources on a number of topics. Click on one of the categories below and then scroll down to browse through the list. Some of the links are to PDF files and some are links to resources found on other websites.
Ministering To and With Same-Gender Couples and Their Families
Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Resources
- Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program - FAQs
Basic information about the RIC Program of Public Welcome (052)
- Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program - Sample Affirmations of Welcome
A sampling of welcoming statements in use at one or more of our current RIC settings. For use as guides, templates, or inspiration in writing an affirmation that proclaims the unique commitment to welcome in your community. (046)
- Our Congregation Is Already Welcoming, Why Do We Need to Say So?
The importance of a public welcome. (053)
- Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People - FAQs
Frequently asked questions about transgender and gender non-conforming people. (055)
- Bisexual People - FAQs
Frequently asked questions about bisexual people.
- Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People - Expanded FAQs
Expanded version - Frequently asked questions about transgender and gender non-conforming people. (056)
- Your Congregation Is RIC - Now What?
Ideas to move forward with inclusive ministry in your congregation: A practical guide, including action steps your congregation can take. (045)
- How Can Our Congregation Help Expand the Number of RIC Congregations in Our Area?
Ideas for sharing your story and encouraging other faith communities to join you in making a public welcome. (057)
- Where All Can Safely Live - Revised and Expanded!
A guide to understanding bullying in our communities, how to talk about it, and how to prevent it. This anti-bullying curriculum is an introduction to what bullying is, how it functions, and why we as Christians are called to prevent it from happening in our communities. It was developed with the help of the staff at the Pacific Violence Prevention Institute, from the pioneering research on bullying by Dan Olweus, and materials created by the United States government. Revised and expanded in 2013. Free download.
- Where Hands Will Reach
Devotions, Stories, Reflections. Where Hands Will Reach contains responses to bullying from ELCA pastors, parents, theologians, and others. In this booklet you will find devotions, personal stories, and theological reflections on the problem of bullying and what some have done to help. Originally written for the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, these reflections offer an ongoing-testimony for the need to activate and organize the passion of God’s people for justice to transform the life of the church and society. Great for Bible studies, book clubs, and other forums. Free download. Beautiful printed version available for purchase. Please call 651-665-0861.
Bible, Theology & Ethics
HEARTS UNBOUND: Engaging Biblical texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater by David R. Weiss is a collection of ten inspiring stories of radical love and welcome. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and participatory, each session looks in-depth at the story, the historical context out of which it came, and some of the insights to be gained.
Quick notes on scriptural interpretation. (001)
Theological reflection on bullying, by Professor Jeremy Myers, Augsburg College. (047)
Article by Rev. Dr. Brian Peterson, Professor of New Testament, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He writes, "[W]e need to avoid, as much as possible, confusing the authority of the Bible with the authority of poor translations, incorrect assumptions, partial knowledge, or contested interpretations." (044)
Background Essay on Biblical Texts prepared by the ELCA for “Journey Together Faithfully, Part Two: The Church and Homosexuality.” (002)
Relevant exposition of the discussion by noted theologian. (003)
Comments about scriptural appropriateness of the CWA09’s decisions by Professor Timothy Wengert of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Published in the September 2009 Journal of Lutheran Ethics. (004)
Scriptural and Confessional foundations for the concept of “bound conscience,” by Prof. Timothy Wengert. (005)
An online multimedia presentation by Bishop David Brauer-Rieke. Includes sections on "Romans 1," "Care for Families," "Peter, Cornelius, and change," and "Living with Freedom." Brauer-Rieke is bishop of the Oregon Synod (ELCA). 86 minutes.
An online multimedia presentation by Bishop Brauer-Rieke. Covers issues of biblical interpretation, exploring Gen. 2 and 19, Lev. 18 and 20, Acts 15, 1 Cor. and Tim., and Rom. 1-4. Brauer-Rieke is bishop of the Oregon Synod (ELCA). 95 minutes.
From the RIC Ministry Planner: Two resources for bible study are cited and discussed. (007)
An excellent study guide on the interpretation of the biblical verses used against LGBT people, done in the ELCIC. (008)
The seven verses often used against LGBT people. Arranged to be used in discussion. (009)
From the RIC Ministry Planner: a discussion with references. (010)
An LC/NA theological position paper. (011)
Martha Stortz discusses the “The Top Five Things I Miss When Lutherans Talk about Sex” in the hope that a new conversation might be crafted by Lutherans in which these things would be addressed: distinctively theological discourse that addresses Christian identity, orientation to the body of Christ, the practice of baptism, and the lifestyle of discipleship; a serious discussion of Second Article concerns; explicit discussion of embodiment both in human flesh and in the body of Christ; attention to the kind and quality of relationships we have as sexual human beings who are also members of Christ’s body; and the virtues that are enabled by Christian discipleship in relation to sex. From the Journal of Lutheran Ethics. (013)
Deifelt’s article, “For God is Also the God of Bodies,” retrieves for us how Luther’s theology treated embodiment and sexuality, revolutionizing the church’s understanding of sexuality and sexual expression as an intrinsic part of God’s creation and treated bodies and embodied sexuality in a positive manner. This set the stage for Luther’s rethinking of Christian sexual ethics. From the Journal of Lutheran Ethics. (014)
Kate Ott’s article, “Rethinking Adolescent Sexual Ethics,” makes a case for rethinking how the church deals with sexuality and sexual ethics for adolescents. She argues that the church’s common “just don’t do it” approach to sex with adolescents is less than helpful in dealing with the positive meanings of sexuality, the characteristics of healthy relationships, or the pleasure derived from sexual relationships. An approach to a morally responsible sexuality would help, in her view, to develop a more mature adolescent moral agency about sexual behavior in developmentally sound ways. From the Journal of Lutheran Ethics. (015)
Laurie Jungling’s article, “Called to Serve Life: A ‘New’ Vision of Marriage as Vocation for the Lutheran Tradition,” argues that an approach to sexual ethics and roles based on considerations of biological forms as determinate of relationships is inadequate. Such an ethic should be succeeded, she maintains, by a well-developed understanding of marriage as a calling from God grounded in relational, rather than biological, forms. We are called to serve one another in life-giving relationships, she argues, regardless of the form of the relationship or its participants. Those relationships should manifest “right relationship,” shalom, and justice. Marriage is a particular calling involving three inter-connected kinds of relationality — interpersonal contextual relationality, socio-communal relationality, and erotic relationality — in and through which marital partners serve one another and others in the world. From the Journal of Lutheran Ethics. (016)
- Text of the social statement, Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, adopted by the 2009 CWA. (017)
- CWA Votes on Ministry Policy Resolutions
Report of language on ministry policies adopted by the 2009 CWA. Includes vote tallies. (018)
- FAQs on sexuality decisions — Bishop Martin Wells
Helpful answers to common questions regarding decisions made at the 2009 CWA. (019)
Liturgy, Preaching & Worship
- Services of Blessings of Relationships
Prepared by St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church (St. Paul, Minnesota), this resource provides models of blessing ceremonies for same-gender couples as well as a theological foundation. (043)
- Worship Resources for Transgender Day of Remembrance
Liturgies of Confession and Forgiveness, Prayers of the People. Written by the Rev. Jay Wilson (051)
- Reconciling in Your Preaching
How to weave reconciling into your preaching, writing, thinking. (032)
- Lectionary Tools for Inclusion of LGBT themes in Dialog
Caron’s Lectionary (033)
- Comments from Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko
Greeting from the Lutheran World Federation, brought to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly by the Rev. Dr. Ishmael Noko, General Secretary, August 22, 2009. (034)
- The Nature of Sexual Orientation
A paper by John R. Ballew, M.S. that contains factual information about the official stance of the scientific community on the topic of sexual orientation. (042)
- APA: Being Gay Is Just as Healthy as Being Straight
APA statement on the foundational work of Evelyn Hooker and subsequent research into the ability of homosexuals to be well-adjusted. (035)
- APA: Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation
Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educatorsl, and School Personnel. (036)
- APA Policy on Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation
1997 resolution that the American Psychological Association opposes portrayals of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and adults as mentally ill due to their sexual orientation and supports the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation, and mental health, and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based in ignorance or unfounded beliefs about sexual orientation. (037)
- APA Policy Statement on the Use of the Diagnosis Homosexuality
1987 APA resolution urging its members not to use the '302.0 Homosexuality' diagnosis in the current ICD-9-CM or the '302.00 Ego-dystonic Homosexuality' diagnosis in the current DSM-III or future editions of either document. (038)
- APA Press Release Insufficient Evidence that Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Work
APA: Not only is there no evidence supported by acceptable research there is the potential for great harm in trying to change sexual orientation. (039)
- APA Report on Reparative Therapies – Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation
APA states that there is no credible research evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. (040)