Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Communities
Faith Communities on Their Journey to Become RIC
The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations and ministry communities who have made a public commitment to welcome, include and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) people. 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. There are now around 860 RIC Partners throughout the United States and Canada.
Every ministry setting begins this journey from their own unique context; knowing this, ReconcilingWorks staff and Regional Coordinators are here to support you along the way. Whether folks in your faith community are new to the acronym of "LGBTQIA+" or have participated in their local PRIDE celebrations, it is always a great place to start. Hearing the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people and their families often creates greater understanding and insight into the awe of God's creation. This holy work is about living the journey by creating ongoing milestones to help you deepen and expand your communities welcome. Where is your faith community on this journey of welcome, inclusion and celebration?
What does it mean to be RIC in different ministry settings?
The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Journey can begin with simply one person who desires to specifically welcome LGBTQIA+ people into their midst.
Each congregation that lives out the RIC Journey, does so in a way that is unique and authentic to their community. By engaging in a welcoming process, the faith life of the community deepens. As members participate in dialogue with one another, they practice putting their faith into speech and then action, creating a more vibrant spiritual community.
Reconciling in Christ congregations are sources of hope and support to many LGBTQIA+ folks, families, and friends as they provide safe worshiping spaces and a place where ALL can grow in faith and in community. Each RIC ministry setting will create a statement welcoming people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. If at any time your faith community has questions, feel free to reach out to the ReconcilingWorks office or your Regional Coordinator.
Reconciling in Christ (RIC) synods have extended a public welcome to people of sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions. RIC synods serve as witnesses not only to LGBTQIA+ people in the area, but also to congregations within the synod and to the wider church.
RIC synods have formed standing committees or task forces whose primary focus is on the work of this public welcome and RIC Journey through many ways, including but not limited to: serving as a congregational and synodical resource, candidacy committee work, advocating, providing resources, hosting "Building an Inclusive Church" trainings, and more.
Synods can start their journey in a variety of ways. For more information, head over to our "Churchwide Engagement" tab for resources like "A Synod's Guide to RIC" and more.
All Other Ministry Settings
Not only can congregations and synods become Reconciling in Christ (RIC), but all other Lutheran ministry settings can be as well. Whether you are a campus ministry, camp/outdoor ministry, seminary, college, mission startup or another organization, ReconcilingWorks welcomes ALL to participate in the welcome, inclusion, and celebration of LGBTQIA+ people.
For those ministry settings discerning the RIC Journey, a great first step would be to browse through the resources on our "Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program" tab, as well as connect with the governing board of your organization.
Each ministry setting will create a statement extending a public welcome to people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions, which will then be brought forward to their board for an official vote.