Annually, the last Sunday in January is designated as “Reconciling in Christ Sunday.” RIC Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate the witness of God’s love for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities. It’s a time to highlight what it means to live a theology of reconciliation.
Go here to download RIC Sunday resources: www.lcna.org/ric/ric-sunday-and-pride-sunday.
These celebrations will be echoed throughout the welcoming movements in many communities of faith. We invite you to talk with your pastors, worship leaders, and others in your congregation and encourage them to designate Sunday, January 30, as RIC Sunday.
For 2011, The Rev. Jan Wiersma has compiled resources for your use. Resources include suggested readings, liturgy, prayers, and hymns. If your congregation has already scheduled other themes for that day, you may use these resources on a Sunday of your choosing.
Many members of RIC congregations are doing wonderful things to further the welcome in their congregations; many acknowledge there is much more to do. Here are a few ideas:
– “Reconciling Lutheran” drive: Invite all members of your congregation to sign the Reconciling Lutheran covenant. The RIC Sunday website (www.lcna.org/ric/ric-sunday-and-pride-sunday) has a stand-alone sign-up form, as well as a more comprehensive bulletin insert. See how many members of your congregation are willing to publically state their support for full participation in the life of the Lutheran Church. Send completed forms to the LC/NA office.
– Invite the wider community to your congregation for RIC Sunday. Are there people who need to hear a word of welcome, explicitly and individually, who have not heard it yet? Many have heard about the policy changes of the Lutheran Church, and you can help do the work of reconciliation by showing them a congregation that supports the full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
– Take up a special offering to support LC/NA’s continued work. Such support will provide the resources to help other congregations go through the process leading to adopting a welcoming statement and becoming an RIC congregation.
Blessings on your work and ministry throughout 2011.