January 27, 2013
Annually, the last Sunday in January is designated by the ecumenical welcoming community as Welcoming Sunday. On this day, worshippers are encouraged to join other welcoming congregations from various denominations in celebrating the witness to God's love for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Worship Resources for RIC Sunday 2013 are available here now.
For 2013, resources have been compiled for your use by a team composed of the Rev. Brenda Froisland, the Rev. Dawn Roginski, the Rev. Bradley Schmeling, and Tim Feiertag. Resources include suggested hymns, liturgies, prayers, and sermon notes. This year, children’s sermon suggestions are also included. If your congregation cannot participate in RIC Sunday on January 27, you may adapt these resources for use on another Sunday of your choosing, such as near National Coming Out Day (October 11) or the anniversary of your joining the Reconciling In Christ program, or in conjunction with the local LGBT Pride celebrations.
There is a bulletin insert which is intended to print as a single, 8½" x 11" double-sided document, folded in half. The insert contains an announcement about RIC Sunday and an update on the RIC Program. It also includes a sampling of the ministries of new RIC congregations and a sign-up sheet for Reconciling Lutherans.
RIC Sunday is a time to remind your community what it means to live a theology of reconciliation. Many RIC pastors are doing wonderful things to further the welcome in their congregations; many acknowledge there is much more to do. Voting to become an RIC congregation is just the beginning. Some suggestions for RIC Sunday activities include:
- Reconciling Lutheran drive: Invite all members of your congregation to sign the Reconciling Lutheran covenant included in the bulletin insert. See how many members of your congregation are willing to publicly state their support for full participation in the life of the Lutheran Church. Send completed forms to the ReconcilingWorks office.
- Take a special offering to support and enhance the ministry of ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation and the Reconciling in Christ program. Congregational support is crucial to this ministry. One offering envelope is included in this mailing. Let us know if more are needed.
- Invite the wider community to your congregation for RIC Sunday. Many have heard about the openness of the Lutheran Church, and you can help do the work of reconciliation by showing them a congregation that supports full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
- Education Opportunities: Talk about what "welcoming" means, how churches can work to end bullying in our schools, or bisexual or transgender education. Visit www.reconcilingworks.org/infox for videos and other resources.
RIC Sunday Resources for 2013
The following RIC Sunday resources for 2013 are available for download:
Three Microsoft Word documents. Use the links below to view or download each file.
- Resource materials, including prayers and readings
- Bulletin insert
- Stand-alone Reconciling Lutherans sign-up sheet
Three Adobe PDF documents (requires Adobe Reader software). Use the links below to view or download each file.
- PDF resource materials, including prayers and readings
- PDF bulletin insert
- PDF Stand-alone Reconciling Lutherans sign-up sheet
Just as we celebrate God's all-encompassing love on the last Sunday in January with an RIC Sunday celebration, the annual Pride season is another chance for your congregation to celebrate and renew its commitment to welcoming all. Pride celebrations take place regionally all over the country, usually during the month of June. (You can check with your local LGBT publication, PFLAG chapter, or similar organization for local dates.)
Pride is an excellent chance for congregations to renew, remember, and rejoice in their welcome and celebrate their LGBT friends, family, members, and ministers. You may use the RIC Sunday materials for your local Pride celebration.